by Jordan Witte, Claire Macuz & Salv Lupone
Metro’s leading brigade of U15s have solidified their spot in the top 4 with a commanding 21-12 win over Victoria University on Thursday night.
Led by an outstanding captaincy performance from Scarlett Padden, the Jets defied a VU comeback in the second quarter to claw their way to a nine-goal victory.
The Jets went into the game brimming with confidence, looking for their fourth straight win. Aimee Harris, joined by Padden in attack, had the Jets firing on all cylinders early, as Nat Williams and Bela Hartman marshalled the defense and halted VU in their tracks.
Harris and Padden were able to take advantage of multiple turnovers, caused by the Hartman/Williams combination, to push the Metro lead to four goals at quarter time.
VU have scrapped and fought for their two wins this season, taking a result against Banyule, who currently sit above them on the ladder. They’re not to be taken lightly, and their brand of netball was on full display in the second quarter, as their physicality led to Metro shying from their usual game plan.
Despite the best efforts of Holly Rothnie in wing defense, VU were able to shut down Harris and Padden, reducing the lead to just two goals at half time.
Coach Kim Dooley’s message at half time was simple: “Play the Metro way.”
Her words paid dividends shortly after the main break, as a newly invigorated Jets squad went to work. With a midcourt combination of Bec Stingel, Maddy Usher and Padden, the Jets skipped away, as the uber-versatile Rothnie joined Harris in goals to sink six goals for the quarter.
Usher in particular impressed the coaching staff, with her recent stints at U17 level doubtless a catalyst for her rapid improvement. The defensively-minded midcourter plays tough, hard and stingy, and hates letting her opponent touch the ball.
With a lead at three-quarter time, the Jets could’ve been forgiven for taking the foot off the pedal. With Paige Comans under an injury cloud, and Stingel having worked herself into exhaustion, it was left to captain Padden to bring the squad home.
Six goals to Rothnie & Harris, an outstanding midcourt performance from Padden, perseverance from Comans and a typically mean defensive stand from the Hartman & Williams combination later, and the Jets walked away from Parkville with their fourth win of the season in the bank.
Editor’s note: Thanks to Salv Lupone, Lee Harris and Kim Dooley, we’ll now be doing our best to bring match reports from all U15 games as often as possible. We don’t get to see every game, every week, so the work of everyone at Metro to provide us with information from all our players’ games, both old and young, is greatly appreciated. It also means we can cover more games, more often, and gives the players the opportunity to read about themselves and their teammates.