Although yesterday was arranged as a pre-season friendly, we have found that having worked with most of these girls over the past number of years that every games regardless of the title it's taken with great individual and collective importance. Lucan Utd provided the opposition and we are very proud of the good relations that we have built up with the Dublin based club over the past few seasons.
From the kick off the Swans showed that they were well up for the game and started very much on the front foot. With some exceptional quick interchange of passes resulting with the ball breaking towards the edge of the box, cue Zöe Mooney to let fly and stick the ball in the top left corner of the net. What a strike to signal the swans intent not just for the remainder of the game but for the season ahead. Soon after a defensive splitting pass from new signing Sarah Geoghegan seen our own Katelyn Rooney through one on one with the keeper and we were 2-0 up within the first ten minutes. This second goal was of great significance as it marked the return to the pitch for Katelyn who has being hampered by injuries for the past few months. Team mates and coaching staff celebrated in seeing her hit the back of the net again.
In fact, it was Rooney again who was involved in the next goal as she put another new signing through on goal with a great pass. From here, Nicola Groenewald who was playing her first game of soccer burst through on goal. Her electric pace set her race clear not to be caught and when faced with only the keeper to beat she calmly finished to score her first goal for the Swans.
Having gone three up half way through the first half, the Swans done some serious rotation which saw all the subs being used and players playing in different positions that they were used to. However, with all the changes the players seemed unfazed and all adapted really well. However, Lucan were now beginning to find their feet and Swans keeper Grace O Sullivan was called upon on a number of occasions. Grace's handling and distribution from her hands was very good and soon the Swans were on another quick counter attack. Louise Hopkins, another one of our four new players introduced to the side today combined well with Jess Maloney who in turn played in Rooney for her second of the game. Alison Bane, another one of our star performers added a fifth for the swans before half time after some great work down the left by Chloe Smullen. Real FA Swans finished the first half as they had started and were really pleased at half time.
Lucan Utd came out all guns blazing for second half and had the Swans under some pressure early on. Nicole Geoghegan, Claire Stuart, and Zoe Purcell all had solid games at the back. There communications
and positioning was excellent for the majority of the game. However, one lapse in concentration saw Lucan Utd striker clear on goal and she finished passed Sinead Byrne who replaced Grace O Sullivan in goal at half time. In fact, Sinead played the majority of the first half at left back and done extremely well in both positions considering it was again her first game of soccer.
The Swans didn't let this goal knock their confidence and like a wounded lion only came out fighting. Kacey Geoghegan who had a splendid performance in both halves of the game was causing Lucan all sorts of problems. A real plus to her game yesterday was her hold up play on the ball and her work rate. She has really started pre season very well.
We all like to watch teams keep the ball and play possesion football. At times during the game, you would have stood to watch the Swans keep ball all day. Their passing, movement, and communication was excellent and they even gained the plaudits of some neutral onlookers who just admired. Keeping possesion is one thing but doing it with the intention of getting up the field to create some opportunities is quite another. The Swans not only kept the ball but after twelve passes, Jess Maloney was put through and finished off a fantastic move and the Swans sixth of the game.
Lucan to their credit never gave up and soon undone the Swans defense and made it 6-2. To be fair, Lucan probably finished the strongest and could have possibly had another before the final whistle.
NEW SQUAD PLAYERS
A special mention has to go to our new swans all of whom had very good displays yesterday.
Louise Hopkins played both at right and left full during the game and made so many great passes and tackles.
Nicola Groenewald played on the right wing and as mentioned already scored a fine goal and settled into the side really well. Sinead Byrne played at left back during the first half also and played the second half in goal. Sinead worked hard outfield and her distribution form goal kicks were very good. Sarah Geoghegan played most the game in the centre of midfield. Her energy and ability on the ball was excellent and she has the ability to be a top player for the swans this season
Overall this game was a great workout for our players. To introduce four new players to our squad who have never played soccer before up until three weeks ago and to put in the level of performance they did was brilliant. We worked hard but with the extra five minutes per half this year we still need to work on our fitness levels. All the other aspects of the game also need improving but we will work with the girls during the week to correct things that we could have done better during the game.