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With Varsity impending this weekend, we spoke to Captain and Centre Midfielder for the Women’s First XI, Lizzie Hibberd, to see whether the team is ready to repeat last year’s thrilling home victory over Portsmouth.
How has the season gone so far?
This season has gone well for us, we have had some great performances and the girls have always worked hard in training and on the pitch. We made it to the semi-finals in the cup, narrowly missing a place in the finals through a penalty shootout, and with one league game remaining we are set to finish third in the league.
Who have been the key players so far this season we should be looking out for at the weekend?
All the girls are key players for me but special mention should go to the final years who in particular want to finish off their university football with a varsity win; Eve Lomasney who plays in centre mid, works tirelessly both attacking and defending and who also often bags herself a goal, Angie Morley and Janine Fergus who will be playing up top and looking to beat the Pompey keeper at any opportunity and Daisy Dickinson and Sophie Burrows who will be solid in defence.
How has your training differed in preparation for the big game?
Training hasn’t differed at all; every game is massive for us and deserves the same preparation. There has been effort off the football pitch spent writing chants for the girls on the pitch though, which I’m sure everyone will be sick of by the end of the match.
After last year’s victory at home, how prepared do you feel as a team playing away from home this year?
The girls actually prefer playing varsity in Portsmouth and are really ready for a fun packed day away from home. Hopefully we will come away with the win.
How much does the support from Southampton students motivate the team to keep pushing forwards?
The girls will appreciate all the support on the day, it really makes the occasion feel extra special. We’d love it if the supporters could join in with our chants.
What style of football do you normally play, and will the importance of the game affect the way you set-up and play?
Our football style depends on our opponents. We expect Portsmouth will be tough competitors as always, they will be pressuring us from the off, I think our goals are going to come from breakaways. Also, look out for Angie Morley if we get any free kicks in their half as she places them in the top corner of the net nearly every time.
What is your score prediction? Do you expect another close contest?
Obviously, I think we are going to win but it’s going to be a close one for sure and the girls are going to need to put in everything to get the result. 3-2 to Southampton.
If you win, how do you plan on celebrating the result?
Oceana disco room is calling.