FitzCorpus pose after victoryAlex Parnham-Cope

Fitzwilliam/Corpus Christi beat Newnbroke (Newnham and Pembroke) 5-4 on penalties to reach the final of the Women’s Football Cuppers. After an incredibly even game between two excellent sides, it was FitzCorpus who held their nerve from the spot to earn the dubious honour of taking on last year’s champions, Jesus.

The match finished 1-1 in normal time, after a close game between two evenly matched sides. Newnbroke were incredibly strong in defence, with no fewer than three Eagles (University second team) players across their backline. However, FitzCorpus were dominant in midfield, as Nia Hall and Nina Valenbreder showed their quality with defence-splitting through balls and recovery tackles. In the first half, this parity in terms of quality manifested itself through end to end football, as both sides attacked well.

“She wheeled off in celebration, and was serenaded to the tune of ‘Maria’ from The Sound of Music

The strong running of Sophia Dyvik Henke was perhaps the biggest threat to FitzCorpus, as the Newnbroke striker stretched the FitzCorpus defence with her pace and persistence. She latched onto a through ball from the Newnbroke midfield before shooting towards the top corner, only to be denied by the leaping FitzCorpus keeper. This led to a Newnbroke corner, which was kneed in by Maria Alexander. She wheeled off in celebration, and was serenaded by her teammates and Newnbroke’s hardcore supporters to the tune of ‘Maria’ from The Sound of Music.

The goal did not disrupt Newnbroke’s momentum and Dyvik Henke was once again in the thick of the action, latching onto a hoof from the defence. Her pace was not enough to outwit the Fitz keeper, who showed exceptional bravery and decision-making skills to thwart the livewire forward. Sharp keeping was not the only thing to stop the striker as, feeling nauseous, she was substituted about ten minutes before half time. Newnbroke kept attacking , and claimed after one cross that Fitz fullback Georgia McConachie had handled the ball. Such spurious claims were given no time by the referee.

McConachie responded to these questions about her integrity with a drive down the wing which won a corner. Nia Hall floated a ball to the penalty spot, teasing the Newnbroke keeper into coming for the ball. She fumbled it, and the ball was prodded in, to the delight of FitzCorpus, in the last action of the half.


Mountain View

Late Jesus resurrection sends them to Cuppers heaven

The second half began with renewed Newnbroke attacks, this time through right back Rachel Blow, whose surge from deep was stopped by McConachie. The resulting corner eventually found its way to Mia Farndon on the edge of the box, but her shot went well over, and troubled the windows of a neighbouring house more than the opposition keeper. The rest of the second half lacked clear cut chances for either side, as the game became scrappy as the teams tired. The closest chance was a Farndon corner, which sailed wind-assisted dangerously close to the Fitz/Corpus goal before narrowly going wide. The game finished 1-1 in normal time, and after a perfunctory two minutes added on by the referee, the teams lined up for a penalty shootout.

In the ultimate lottery, both teams made an excellent start, scoring each of their first three, before a Fitz/Corpus save denied Newnbroke. This was the crucial penalty, as Alexander’s powerful attempt made no difference when Fitz fired high into the roof of the net.

Varsity POTM: Maria Alexander