Passionately starting off the Nationals with a tied game, the Lady Hawks brewed great energy demonstrating their perseverance in this championship. A very close game with ties and yelling, the Lady Hawks managed to come back after a near-immediate loss, and tie the game within the final seconds.
Despite the first half starting off slow, the first play was made with Gabriela Carvalho (9) nearly making a goal and Laura Calixto (99) making an intimidating kick across the court. The court was lacking the energy it needed to encourage the ladies which was then interrupted with an invalid goal from the sidelines, proving their potential in the game to the crowd. Once the first point went to the Graded Eagles, the Lady Hawks got their heads in the game and began playing with their best and scored a point made by Mariana Lana (13). With extremely dynamic and intense plays across the court, the ball was kicked out from the Hawks’ goal in an attempt to avoid getting scored on, which ended up halting the game when the Eagles’ goalkeeper faced it (literally). As the game progressed, Mariana Lana (13) defended with well-thought-out plays as Julia Barros (1) defended the other kicks that came her way. Three minutes before the game ended, Coach Sandro called for a time out where the girls regained their composure and fueled their plays with passion. Nearly scoring, the ball hit the crossbar which left everyone on the edge of their seats, chanting player names and singing encouraging songs. Every play progressively improved as the Eagles were stressing out, players making headers near the goal and absolute chaos around the Eagle’s goal. The last play of the half ended with a swift and unexpected point by Graded, finishing 2 - 1.
The second half started off with two close scores by the starting players of this game, Laura Calixto (99) and Gabriela Carvalho (9), carrying the luck of the nines! With the Eagles doing the same, Julia Barros (1) saved the team from taking a point from a slow ball with her foot. In the midst of the chaos that Graded created once again, they managed to score on the Hawks bringing the game to a 3 -1. Until the crowd saw Laura Calixto’s (99) invalid goal from the sidelines and an incredibly strong defense, chants flourished, encouraging the game to flip. Gabriela Carvalho (9) scored her first point making the score 3 - 2 which was followed by a tie point in the last 5 minutes. In those remaining minutes, the intensity of the plays escalated immensely. Just as stress levels were rising with those who were cheering for EABH, Laura Calixto (99) nearly scored when the keeper was out until the Eagles once again scored, bringing the match to a 4 - 2. However, just as the game was about to end, she recovered from the various previously failed goals with 1 goal in the last 3 minutes and another in the last 5 seconds.
The game was intense and tiring, but Coach Sandro continuously pushed them through the penalties. Starting off no different than the entire match, taking turns, Graded and EABH both scored the first penalties making a tie. The Eagles made their second penalty kick leaving the Hawks under a lot of pressure to match the standards and score too, however, got blocked by the keeper. This loss was followed by two more by Graded and one from EABH before they scored their third point. The points were at 2 - 2, tied once again until the Eagles won their final point and the Hawks lost theirs. The Lady Hawks persisted through a series of challenges that led up to this game such as: the lack of teammates due to the sudden transition from soccer to futsal, it being many players’ first times playing the sport, and the physical conditions of the star players. Schools such as Nations, St.Paul’s, and even Our Lady of Mercy, a short-term rival, were cheering for the Hawks till the end. Through the tears of having lost their first game, the Lady Hawks kept their spirits up looking forward to their volleyball game in the afternoon.