Playing with less than the standard 11 players is never a textbook coaching move, but Womens Pennant D coach Matt Down is far from conventional.
Known to practice Tai Chi in his spare time and to enforce mindfulness techniques on his players above any practical hockey skills, he was confident even with less bodies on the field his girls would make up for it with their interconnected spiritual oneness.
The experienced heads of Penny Heard and Wendy Opie were welcomed to the backline alongside budding apprentice Shivani Myagerimath, and they proceeded to be more of an immovable object than perhaps even the Joker’s arch nemesis.
The three-man midfield brigade was brilliantly led by Ireen Taufika in the middle, and Christina Percival and Matina Kostopolous provided steady attack and possession down the wings.
Barry Allen himself would have had trouble keeping up with the quick-as-the-Flash Kate Galati in the forward line, while Violet Bui and Elyce Ozols were particularly impressive in generating forward pressure even in the dying moments of the game.
Monash dominated the first half but went unrewarded until Shivani knocked in a goal following up from a short corner. The score then levelled, but Kate Galati managed to finish off a classic breakaway build up to pull away.
The Farmettes held on doggedly for the rest of the game, keeping the score 2-1 at the final whistle and recording the team’s first win of the season.
Coach Down punished his team with vegan-friendly matcha smoothies and nut bars after the game.
Around the grounds:
Womens 1s vs PEGS 3-1
Womens 2s vs PEGS 2-1
Womens 3s vs Foot-a-scray 2-1
Womens 4s @ Waverley 4-0
Mens 1s @ MHSOB 1-1
Mens 2s @ MHSOB 1-2
Mens 3s @ MUHC 1-6
Mens 4s @ Knox 5-0
Mens 5s vs Bye
Womens Masters 35A @ KBH Brumbies 0-2
Womens Mastres 35BSE vs Camberwell 1-1
Mens Masters 35BE @ TEM 4-2
Mens Masters 35BS @ GD Warriors 3-3
U16 @ Southern United Black 4-2