By Jordan Witte
A week after succumbing to a powerful goaling combination from Essendon Thunder, the Metro Jets Division 5 side has squandered a golden opportunity to record their second win, losing to Hadfield by three goals in a pulsating game of netball.
The Jets led by five goals midway through the third quarter, but couldn’t hang on, unable to hold off a surging Hadfield goaling combination. Level at three quarter time, Hadfield’s goal attack took matters into her own hands, draining eight goals in the final period to slam the door shut on Metro’s hopes.
Missing wing attack Chelsea Hofman (school commitments), and midcourters Kate Hume and Jenna Dean, the undermanned Jets were bailed out by Rebecca Francis, who filled in from the Division 4 squad.
Goal defense Georgia Rajic had special praise for Francis after the game.
“Having [Bec] in the team really showed us how we can step up to the next level, and even what the next level looks like,” Rajic said.
Youngsters Holly Rothnie and Camryn Edwards were quick out of the blocks early, giving Metro the early lead. The Jets would take a narrow lead into the first break, with Rajic and fellow defenders Hannah Dale and Emily Aitken combining well to blunt the extremely dangerous Hadfield goalers.
“I honestly forget how young she is sometimes,” Rajic said of the 15-year-old Dale. “Considering how young she and Holly are, it’s amazing to watch them play at the level they’re at while they’re so young.”
Ex-Metro junior Tessa Schurmann excelled in her stint in centre, reading the play and intercepting several Hadfield passes. Combining well with Aitken and Francis, the diminutive midcourter kept the Jets from falling behind in the second quarter, as Hadfield heated up to draw level.
After a measured halftime speech from coach John Macuz, the Jets came out firing, drawing away to a five-goal lead.
Rothnie and Edwards were instrumental, the latter showing serious maturity to demand the ball and put herself in good positions.
Hadfield are known for their squads being tight-knit, with the majority of players having played together for many years.
The implicit knowledge of where your teammates are going to be is something that is developed over many years, which means some teams have it and some teams don’t.
Hadfield used every bit of that experience to claw back from the brink, with their goalers inching out a desperate Rajic and Dale to level the game at 15-15 with one quarter left to play.
Despite the best intentions of the entire squad, Hadfield’s goalers took over in the final period, with their goal attack’s experience winning out.
With a final score of 20-23, the Jets fell to 1-3 on the season.
Even though the loss is tough to swallow, the team is keeping an upbeat attitude towards the season.
“It’s been a tough few weeks,” Rajic said. “We’ve shown some great fight though. We’re still fighting to every lead, trying to intercept every pass.”
The Jets will next meet St. Therese’s on the 28th of February in a crucial match in the makeup of their season.