ASV on a Monday in June is not exactly the start of the 2017-18 season but in many ways the Ladies Firsts game against the USA College select is just that. Technically in the close season the game allows the Ladies to look ahead to next season and to introduce some youngsters to see how they fare against a fast and physical student side. Previous debutants in this game were Millie Skidmore, Eilidh Campbell and Eildih Seedhouse, this year it was the turn of Jess Barr and Molly Gammie.
The Students had reversed their normal tour around so they were in Aberdeen last and this meant they had time to build up some momentum together. Previously on their tour they had defeated Dunfermline Carnegie, Dundee University and Monarchs on their way North undefeated. With most of the GWC squad not having played in a month the early rustiness showed. Passing was less than sharp or accurate for the first of the 15 minute periods but Abbie Miller and Millie Skidmore marshalled their defence so that keeper Isobel Green had little to do.
The second period had GCW much more in the game but the visitors keeper was not to be beaten. It was the third period when the game really livened up. A fine left glove save from Isobel Green was the portent of an initial flurry from the Americans which led to them taking a surprise lead, maybe not such a surprise to them. The game changed here however as the GCW girls saw this as the spur they needed to get more aggressive. A fine press saw Kirsten Watson steal the ball and drive to goal and was only deprived by a combination of fine keeping and solid defending. Five minutes later however and Hannah Lawrie stole the ball off the American defence and despite their various efforts to prevent her scoring it was not to be and the game was back at 1-1.
The final quarter had the students tiring and GCW constantly on the press for the winner. Eventually captain Nicole Duffin decided enough was enough and took matters into her own hands and net the winner. With an average age of 18 and only three players older than 18 this was a good show of the youth in the club. However Jen Smith would not let me forget to tell you all about her 30 metre aerial pass to start the second half, quite rightly so.
Thanks to Mike Elder and Tom Morrison for the umpiring.