GC Herren 1 - gegen HC Steffisburg und HC Servette

Again an early start of the day; at 7:45 we met in Zurich for our last long journey to Steffisburg. Most of us did even not know where Steffisburg is or what can be discovered there. BUT we learned during our walk in between the games that there is a lot of cultural heritage to enjoy. Our warming-up was accompanied by the new GC Song (mixed by MC Rik & DJ Cassidy, now available on Spotify) and afterwards we did our last bit of preparation through a video presentation by Coach Ron, who is in need of some new white board markers actually.

The game plan had been discussed many times and we started off executing this strategy quite well. The defensive Steffisburg was pushed back on its own half and we kept playing patiently and controlling the game. This resulted in a penalty corner halfway the first half. From the 'wrong' side of the circle, it was Roman Richner passing the ball off to Denes Heins who then scored our first goal! 1:0! It was now key to keep calm and stay focused on our game. On beforehand we were warned by Steffisburg's fast counter attacks once they intercept the ball. In a swift attack over the left flank Steffisburg was able to position a free man in our circle; he shot and scored. The 1:1 was on the scoreboard and with this result we left the pitch at half-time. 

The message was clear, react faster on turnovers, increase passing accuracy and above all keep executing our game plan. It was Steffisburg that put a little more pressure on our defense in the second half. We knew however that the only way to pass around this was by keep finding our middle men and lead Steffisburg to one side of the pitch. This resulted in a long pass from the back over the right flank to Denes. In one move he received the ball and penetrated the circle, shot, hit the inside of the left post and scored the 2:1. We were back on track! However, we failed to put enough pressure on Steffisburg in the last ten minutes of the game. With around 7 minutes on the clock, Steffisburg set up an attack on our half. With a diagonal ball into our circle they reached one of their strikers, leaving him free to shoot. 2:2.. Not long after, the same situation occurred. Not enough pressure on Steffisburg which led to one of their players freely penetrating our circle. For the first time in the game we were down 2:3. A tactical time-out 2:30 minutes before the end of the game gave us the opportunity to discuss our final attack. We pulled the goalie and continued with 6 players. In the final seconds of the match this resulted in a shot on goal that was blocked with the body by one of Steffisburg's players. A penalty shot! Our always cool captain stayed calm this time as well and put us next to Steffisburg. With 3:3 as final score we managed to get at least one more point in the competition.

Game 2 against HC Servette. The gents from Geneva have been growing throughout the games they played. So again, this promised to be a tough opponent. But taking our strong game plan from the previous match with us, we knew that this was a game we could definitely win. With a high passing frequency we tried to get Servette out of position. That said, it paid off in many goal attempts in the first half. Although we were the team with the most ball possession it was Servette that opened the score. A short pass in our circle brought Servette's Argentinian striker in the position to flick. 0:1. No worries though since we had more than enough time left to play. Again we were playing the ball around to push Servette back. However, somehow we seem to be missing the real killer instinct to finish our attacks. Servette took advantage of this, and with a fast outbreak and some miscommunication in our defense they put the 0:2 on the scoreboard. 

During half-time we said we would focus on our man-on-man defense strategy and be aggressive offensively. Our passing game continued and it was Caspar Ghier who put us on the board with a backhand shot on goal. After this 1:2 we all felt it was time to keep pushing and make sure we would take those 3 points home. With 2:20 left on the clock, goalie Ale was pulled again to give us the 6th player advantage. In the final 30 seconds of the game this resulted in a penalty corner. Unfortunately Servette did an excellent job defending the corner, leaving us with 0 points.

Next week we will not be playing. Nevertheless we will keep training hard this week both on and off the pitch to sharpen our game and get the points we work for so hard. On 13 December we will be playing in the Falletsche Halle in Zurich. We all welcome you to support us during these two matches and make sure the points stay in Zurich!