by Jordan Witte & Claire Macuz
With a combined total of 78 goals between the two teams, the Metro Jets Division 4 squad’s game against Victoria University was nigh on unwatchable if you’re a fan of defense.
In what was the highest-scoring combined total between two teams in Division 4 this season, Victoria University prevailed, 35-42, riding a 2-15 third quarter to the win.
The tone was set early in the first quarter, as Metro goaler Paynton Jolliffe scored four unanswered goals to give Metro the early lead. With utility Gabby Bassi partnering the country netball product, the Jets ran all over a slow-starting Vultures side, opening them up with deep drives from Alanna Macuz and Ally Brown, and scoring 12 goals in the first quarter.
Someone must have said something to the Vultures at quarter time, because the uptick in intensity was a sight to behold. Forcing four turnovers from the Jets in the first 3 minutes, the Vultures turned the tables violently. The Jets went back into their shells as the Vultures took command of the game, adding their own batch of twelve goals for the quarter.
With captain Megg Ryan back in GS for the third quarter with Jolliffe, the hope was that the Jets could wrestle back the momentum and make inroads into the three goal deficit. Instead, the Vultures went to yet another level, cutting swathes through the Jets’ midcourt and leaving defenders Ally Blease and Mikayla Johnston-Bailey powerless.
When the dust settled, the Vultures had effectively killed the game as a contest, scoring fifteen goals to two in the quarter, to lead by ten goals at the final break.
Co-coach Claire Macuz’s notes post-game had one word written down for the third quarter’s analysis: “passing”.
The Jets simply gave the Vultures too many opportunities in the quarter, putting Blease and Johnston-Bailey in GD and GK respectively under immense pressure. Bec Francis in WD couldn’t hold back the floodgates, while Brown and Macuz couldn’t create enough opportunities for Ryan and Jolliffe to counter.
Staring a ten goal deficit in the face, it’s hard to imagine how the Jets managed to score another twelve goals in the last quarter. But as Ryan and Jolliffe heated up in the final quarter, for a brief few seconds the comeback seemed more likely to happen than not.
The Jets clawed back to within four goals, before the Vultures finally broke Blease and Francis, scoring the decisive goals to put the game out of reach.
With the incredible final score of 35-42, with two quarters of 21 goals scored between the teams, the offensive showcase was a delight to behold for the neutral, but leaves the Jets with a bitter taste in their mouths.