26 September 2020
Women’s Hockey League Premier Division
Loughborough Students 0 Surbiton 0
Loughborough Students showed how much progress they have made since returning to the Premier Division last season, holding defending champions, Surbiton to a goalless draw at Loughborough University on Saturday.
The teams met in the corresponding fixture last season on opening day, when Loughborough lost 3-2 and could have earned a point, but for a missed penalty stroke.
But in Week 2 of 2020-21, Loughborough duly earned that point in a game which was anything but a 0-0 draw with both teams playing plenty of attacking hockey, but with defences on top.
Loughborough fielded the same squad which had won 1-0 at Holcombe whilst Surbiton made an enforced change as Corinne Zanolli, an American player joining from Stanford, replaced Emily Defroand due to injury.
Loughborough’s key strength was their ability to retain players from last season, but it was Catherine Ledesma, recruited from the University of Birmingham during the summer who tested Surbiton goalkeeper, Sabbie Heesh in the first quarter.
Zanolli was unlucky not to score on her debut in the 26th minute when in space on the left of the circle, she had time to control the ball before smashing it past the right post after receiving a cross from the right from Emily Atkinson.
Surbiton’s Alice Sharp and Loughborough’s Izzy Petter caused problems for opposition defences, but Surbiton’s main concern will be their failure to convert any of their seven penalty corners, although Loughborough’s goalkeeper, Miriam Pritchard and a timely clearance off the line by Olivia Hamilton contributed to their inability to convert.
Loughborough also went close on occasion as the ball sped narrowly passed the goalposts, giving Surbiton a few anxious moments.
Loughborough seemed to tire in the fourth quarter, but Surbiton could not make the vital breakthrough and had to settle for a point, with both teams still yet to concede a goal this season.
Starters: Miriam Pritchard (GK); Ella Cusack (Capt.), Madeleine Pearce, Jane Kilpatrick, Hannah Grieve, Catherine Ledesma, Lucy Millington, Lizzie Neal, Iona Campbell, Olivia Hamilton, Izzy Petter.
Subs: Jen Park (5 mins), Kyra Angerer (5), Cerys Miller (6), Alice Rolfe (6), Lottie Summers (7).
Starters: Sabbie Heesh (GK); Alice Wills, Sarah Evans (Capt.), Georgie Twigg, Steph Elliott, Susie Catlin, Alice Sharp, Emma Trunks, Robyn Collins, Lottie Ross, Eloise Stenner.
Subs: Holly Payne (6 mins), Corinne Zanolli (7), Emily Guckian (7), Meg Dowthwaite (8), Emily Atkinson (9).
Match Official: Bev Deakin
Umpires: Gill Lord and Janice Tasho.
By Colin Pike
Images: Loughborough University