After completing NAS Competitions Mr Walker was asked by School Sport WA if Servite College would like our Senior Girl to be involved in the Champion Schools Football Competition. This is a soccer competition involving schools from all systems playing at both Junior and Senior levels for Boys and Girls, but one that Servite had never participated. We jumped at the chance because we believe our girls are exceptional football players and this gave them the opportunity for competition at a much higher level than they are used in NAS Competition. Nearly all the schools our students played were either Soccer Academy schools or had a number of players who trained with state. When the call went out for those who were interested we knew we had a core of dedicated players so this gave us the confidence and encouragement to ‘give it a go.’
We were not disappointed. From our first game against Lumen Christi the girls slid into a higher gear knowing that this competition demanded more from them. The girls played the game with a determination and desire to win which was seen when they won on penalties after a nil score. This win set the team spirit for the rest of the tournament. When we played Safety Bay SHS we were up against a formidable side whose many state players pushed Servite into using their football skills more intelligently by reading the play better. Although they were defeated 4-2 the goal scored by Isabella Foletta from the corner was a cracker that any professional footballer would be proud to claim. This was followed by a goal from Breanna Marie who had every spectator and player shouting for her to ‘have a shot.’
The game with Linwood SHS was just as intense as the standard and the competiveness that Servite was experiencing from these schools was high. Their first goal game from Lauren Continibali when she was given a penalty shot after an infringement. The second goal game from Isabella Foletta and that sealed the game for us.
Our final game was for the School Sport WA Champion Schools Football Shield and that was against Woodvale SHS. We knew this was going to be a tough game as Woodvale were the undefeated champions in this competition for several years. It was a hard fought game from the beginning, and our girls played hard and fair. For every ball they won they displayed the integrity of skill that is required to be a good footballer and by half-time we were up 3-1 with one goal each, scored by Alyssa and Lauren Continibali and Isabella Foletta. However the second half there seemed to be a lack in concentration and Woodvale showed their experience and evened the score. Extra time was played but it was penalties that once again decided the outcome. Servite won 5-4. The girls had come back from their concentration lapse with renewed vigour and tenacity that saw them go into the penalties led by Gabriella Saraceni whose calm demeanour and confidence as goalie was able to thwart Woodvale’s opportunity of being champions yet again. Servite was gracious in their win and Captain Zoe Pelham thanked Woodvale for the way in which they played the game. Woodvale acknowledge the courage and skill of Servite. Servite showed their remarkable ability to be relentless in working to achieve the best results possible.
Servite worked as a team by supporting each other every step of the way. Each player encouraged the other and kept their enthusiasm to win even when down on the score. It was a pleasure to watch this group of girls come together as a team and it was a pleasure to see their sense of sportsmanship both on and off the field. Their zest for playing and enjoying the game of football was just as exciting for me as for them. Our ‘Servite Spirit’ is alive and well and these young women displayed it with such honour and integrity throughout this competition.