by Jordan Witte & Claire Macuz
In a performance mimicking the pattern of other Metro Jets games in Round 9, the Jets have put in an outstanding effort and just fallen short of a win, losing to St. Therese’s by 8 goals on Tuesday night.
The second best shooting return of the season for Metro, where they totalled 18 goals from 28 attempts at 64%, and scored on over 50% of their entries into the goal third, couldn’t stand up under a gradual, grinding pressure from St. Therese’s, who worked the Jets over through the midcourt.
Captain Leah Cheevers returned to the line-up, immediately holding down the goal defense position. With nine players available (Louisa Bongrain is competing at the national rowing championships in Sydney), the Jets had plenty of rotations to work with.
The story has often been the same for the Jets this season – that of supply. Aimee Harris and Anushka Sadler (82/135 at 60% and 33/50 at 66% for the season respectively) have never struggled to score when given enough opportunity, but it’s the lack of genuine goaling chances that hurts the Metro goalers.
26 turnovers – 20 offensively and six defensively – stopped any momentum the Jets developed in the midcourt. Consequently, Cheevers, Ketria Wood and Charlotte Caldow struggled to control the St. Therese’s attackers. With more than 40 entries into their goal third, the efforts of the Metro defenders to keep the Saints to 26 was commendable under the circumstances.
Ten rebounds – largely due to more aggressive defense – was good enough for the team’s second best return of the season, as Cheevers’ size and Caldow’s aggression worried the Saints out of second chance opportunities.
The third quarter was arguably the Jets’ best. Midcourters Tayla Burr, Alicia Lupone and Bec Stingel got on top of their Saints opponents, while Maddy Birrell’s defensive pressure on the transverse line helped drag Metro back into the game.
Sadler shot at 100% for the quarter, and Harris added four goals of her own at 67% to give the Jets a slight hope of a comeback.
With Sadler requiring a rest in the last quarter, Stingel was drafted into goal attack, and the midcourt’s flow suffered as a result. Harris nailed four goals again as her consistency shone through, but the Saints continued to score at will, and couldn’t be caught.
The end result – an 18-26 loss – drops the Jets to 1-1-6. They’ll get their first chance at a return game this week, as they meet Northern Panthers for the second time this season, after suffering a 14-20 loss the first time around.