The blare of the buzzer resounded throughout the stadium. The red blinking, elliptical digits ‘00.00’ signalled the end of the intense game that had culminated in a 6-2 score. The euphoria was palpable – the supporters were up on their feet cheering jubilantly while the players massed into an annular huddle to roister their triumph.
Alas, Victoria, was victorious, clinching 2nd runner up in the National A Division Floorball Championship in the third/fourth playoff against Raffles Institution.
After a disappointing defeat to River Valley High in the Semi Finals one week ago, the team was steadfast and resolute in their pursuit to secure the coveted bronze medal. This intrinsic desire to perform, coupled with the pressure to follow in the footsteps of their seniors of the previous year led them to fight hard on court.
Just an hour or so ago, the air was thick with tension as both teams started warming up on court by practising their shooting. Students from both schools, donned in their respective school colours were beginning to stream in. They were fired up and highly anticipative of the impending match, with numerous Victorians carrying with them vibrant boards bedecked with words of encouragement and affirmation for their fellow peers on court.
The game was about to begin. The players took their place and angled their sticks, their eyes fixated on their opponents intently. Spectators sat on the edge of their seats with bated breath, waiting anxiously for the game to commence. What would the outcome be? Would a victory ensue for Victoria?
The whistle was blown and the match was off to an intense start. Players from both sides fought fiercely for the control of the neon-pink ball on court. The hall was resonating with the sound of the clashing sticks and the chorused exclamations from Victorians each time the ball inched closer to our goal post. The Victorian Pride was indubitable.
After a tense but futile eight minutes, with both teams putting up a strong defense, Mavis, a member of our floorball team successfully scored the opening goal, sending the Victorian crowd into a frenzy of excitement and ecstasy, evoking spontaneous cheers from the Victorian supporters. The team ran towards each other and exchanged affirming pats on each others’ backs, visibly relieved with their new edge over Raffles.
The opening goal appeared to augur a good start for the team, with one of the players, Stephanie, mentioning that since ‘[they] knew that [Raffles] would be putting up a tough fight’, the ‘opening goal really added to the team’s confidence’. Mavis, the player responsible for the opening goal added that she felt ‘a very big sense of satisfaction and motivation for the rest of the game to keep up the good work and score more goals’ and rejected any scintilla of complacency as ‘being complacent would lower [her] concentration’.
Before long, the whistle was blown once again, indicating the end of the first period of fifteen minutes. The teams were given a short three minutes break to re-strategize and plan for the next two periods.
In the second period, the excitement among the Victorian supporters was heightened as we saw Victoria start on a winning streak. Within the short span of 15 minutes, the team managed to score an impressive number of three successful goals, widening the margin between Victoria and Raffles with a score of 4-0 by the end of the 2nd period.
To many of the Victorian supporters, a win was almost guaranteed with the large margin between the two schools. But to the players, the fight was not over yet.
In the third and last period, the Raffles team’s hunger and eagerness to close the gap was intensified, evinced in their scoring of two goals – one between Victoria’s fifth and sixth goal and one being after Victoria’s sixth and final goal.
Many spectators from both sides of the hall were now on their feet, chanting their friends’ names to spur them on in the final, and most nerve-racking moments of the match.
The final whistle was blown and Victoria’s win was confirmed.
The victory however, was not facile. The journey leading up to this success was nowhere near smooth-sailing. It was, to say the least, gruelling and taxing on the players and entailed much grit and perseverance. With four practices a week including Saturday practices, the team invested substantial time and commitment and trained tirelessly to earn this achievement.
The Captain of the team, Heather, recounted her journey with the team, saying that ‘as a batch, [they had] faced multiple problems from the start till the end’ with ‘low confidence’ being one of the biggest problems for them as it impeded on their ability to improve. However, with constant ‘[encouragement] on and off court’, many of them were able to ‘play much better and with [increased] confidence’.
Though she ‘was initially disappointed’ as the team previously had dreams of entering the finals given their potential, she was ‘really proud of how far the team had come’ and that ultimately, “the memories made [were] what really mattered’.
When asked about the people she would like to thank on behalf on her team, Heather conveyed her gratitude to their coach, mentioning that ‘[her team] learnt a lot under [their coach] and that without him, ‘[they] wouldn’t have been able to come as far as [they] did this season’. She expressed her thankfulness to the Floorball teachers-in-charge, describing them as ‘very chill teachers’ and whom they were able to ‘share problems with’.
Lastly, she thanked her team and mentioned that she was ‘very proud of the challenges that they’ve overcome’ and hoped that ‘it was an enjoyable journey for all of them’.
Even in the midst of celebrating the Floorball Girls’ win, we should not discount their road to success – sacrifices were made, tears were shed and it was the countless practices that led up to this victory. May we emulate the tenacity and resolve that they showed, in our daily lives too.
Isabel Joy Kua 17A14
Karissa Chong 17A14