by Jordan Witte, Claire Macuz & Salv Lupone
Just four days after playing at the VCNA tournament, the Metro Jets U15-2 squad – who sent Alicia Lupone, Charlotte Caldow, Katia Dossis, Bella Cavallo, Georgia Padden, Amelia Fortunaso-McKay and Liliana Morgan to Heathmont on Sunday – fronted up against Plenty Valley Comets in a bid to continue their undefeated start to the season.
The focus was on seeing how the bulk of the squad would perform after the taxing tournament play. The coaching staff & assembled family’s fears were quickly allayed, as Morgan and Padden started brightly to give the Jets a 6-3 at quarter time.
Caldow and Lupone had earned promotions to the top representative squad for the VCNA tournament. Caldow’s aggressive defence and Lupone’s creativity in midcourt were welcomed back with open arms, as they combined with Hannah McManus to thoroughly dominate Plenty Valley through the midcourt.
Plenty Valley’s height in the defensive circle meant the focus for Morgan and Padden was on accuracy, as they both gave away significant centimetres to their opponents. There is a counter to every style of play, and Morgan & Padden used their agility and speed to manoeuvre around their defenders.
The second quarter belonged to Fortunaso-McKay. After a well-earned debut at 17s level earlier in the week, the goal-keeper had seven rebounds for the game and sent Plenty Valley packing in the second quarter.
Bella Cavallo earned a promotion to the 15-2s after an impressive tournament, and the attacking player’s attitude further impressed the coaches.
“She’s just willing to learn,” said coach Kim Dooley. “She presented well, she shot well, she’s got a fantastic attitude and she takes in whatever you tell her.”
A consistent third quarter from the midcourt, which included an exceptionally intelligent stint from Katia Dossis in wing defense, saw the Jets push to a nine-goal break at the final change.
Dossis’ development has been rapid, and her high level of tournament play was carried over to Thursday’s game, as the WD contributed to the team-high 19 intercepts.
All that remained was for the finishing touches to be applied. Fittingly, it was Padden who administered the knockout punch, ramming home six goals from eight attempts as the Jets ran away with the game, winning by 17 goals.
“We wanted to focus on our game plan, our structures and our systems,” Dooley said post-game. “We didn’t want to allow Plenty Valley to force us into errors, we just wanted to play our game. When we play our game, we generally do fairly well.”
The 24-7 result sees the Jets sit pretty atop the ladder with five wins and zero losses. They will get a chance to push further ahead with a match-up against seventh-placed Northern Storm on Thursday night.
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.