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Published 4th Mar 2012
It’s a new year, but for two of Team Surrey’s sides, it’s the same old story.
At the end of 2011, I wrote about how the Women’s 1st XI Fencing and Hockey teams had won all their games, and that trend is continuing even as spring approaches.
A the time of writing, the fencing team, led by captain Rebecca Smethurst, are unbeaten in their division with seven wins from seven matches. Despite trailing Sussex University by three points, Surrey have two games in hand, providing the opportunity to go top. As in the last issue, Rebecca continues to attribute the success of the team to a great coaching team, but says that “the most important thing is all the girls train so hard”. With the end of the season fast approaching, she is confident the team will top the league but warns “we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves”. Even the clichés are starting to sound like those used by top sportsman, as Rebecca insists that there is “a lot of hard work to do, but the girls are giving 110%”.
Nearing the top of the league comes with added pressure and this close to the end of the season - with promotion at stake - one would expect the girls to be feeling the heat. However, despite admitting “it does provide quite a lot of pressure, being near the top”, Smethurst believes such pressure comes with the territory and says that the expectations are welcomed. “The pressure keeps us focussed and keeps us training hard. Our efforts are paying off and the pressure will help us fight for the top position.”
Last Wednesday, the girls took on UCL Women’s 2nd team, knowing victory would take them back to the top of the division. After comfortably beating them earlier in the season, Surrey have plenty of reasons to approach the game with optimism.
As for Hockey, Surrey were defeated in the cup in the quarter finals by UCL, a defeat which captain Becky Davidson was as much down to misfortune as to mistakes. After, the defeat, she said that “we were all disappointed, but I am so proud of the whole squad. They never gave up fighting or let their heads drop, even though it felt like we were up against 13, not 11 players! We felt like we matched them the entire game, and we were able to force the match into another 14 minutes of golden goal. Unfortunately, a short corner managed to find the net and that was that.” Despite the loss, there are many reasons for Davidson to be cheerful.
“It was a great game. We came away with our heads held high, knowing that with a little more luck, or better umpiring, we could have won the game. A good cup run was a goal of ours and we feel that we achieved this goal by reaching the quarter-finals. We’ve had a lot of fun in getting this far, and that is something I am immensely proud of.”
Another cause for celebration is the team’s excellent league form, where victories – often by large margins – have been commonplace.
Davidson says that the focus for this year has always been to move up a division. However, Surrey’s dominance means that Becky feels Surrey can achieve more than just promotion. “Going out of the cup means we can concentrate all our efforts on the league and – having won all our games – we are sitting top. My new goal is not only to secure promotion, but to do it in style by winning every game. Given our performances so far, I feel this is definitely realistic.”
So why have the Hockey girls done so well? Ultimately, it comes down to a number of factors.
“I would say we have been successful because every girl in the 1st XI works hard and is committed. As a result, there is a team spirit which runs not only through our squad, but the club as a whole.”
Surrey played Reading last Wednesday and going into the game, the captain was feeling confident. “We are at home and we are definitely looking to continue our winning streak. We beat them 7-0 in Reading so we know we should be able to secure the win.”
Whether they do or not is another matter, but you can find out how they, the Fencing team and every other team at Surrey got on either by checking the BUCS website or joining the Team Surrey page on Facebook.