The Women’s Football team of the School of Earth and Space Sciences Defends the Champion in the 2021-2022 “Jinguo” Cup
At 11:40 a.m. on June 4, 2022, after a 63-minute-long and hard-fought battle, the women’s football team of the School of the Earth and Space Sciences (SESS) finally defeated the United of the School of Information Science and Technology and the School of Computer Science and Technology (ICST United), successfully retaining the title for the second year.
The final match was indeed challenging for both teams. In this season, injuries took place frequently on the key players on both sides. For instance, ICST United power forward, Congcong Mei, became the second string due to her ankle injuries. Meanwhile, in the week before the final game, the SESS team also faced a dilemma. Midfield and fullback, Ming Yang and Liting Mai, both had the thought of withdrawing from the final because of their injuries, and another midfield, Lingyan Zhang, was injured as well. However, in the 30 minutes before the final started, not only do they all got well-prepared and showed up in time, but another lead player, Jiayi chen, who had been absent from all the games except the first two as in a time crunch, also made her appearance. The assembly of all members built up the confidence of SESS team greatly. Eventually, the final’s lineup of SESS team was: the coach Bing Duan, the goalkeeper Yang Liu (No.5), the center back Shanshan Liu (No.6), the full backs Liting Mai (No.23) and Jiale Mou (No.13), the midfields Ming Yang (No.8) and Lingyan Zhang (No.9), the power forwards Ning Ding (No.31) and Jiayi Chen (No.11), the substitutes Hui Zhou (No.26), Meng Lu (No.12), Xingchen Kang (No.21) and Jing Wang (No.7).
At 10:10 a.m. on June 4, in the searing heat of the summer started the final of 2021-2022 Women’s Football Game “Jinguo” Cup of University of Science and Technology of China.
From the first minute of the kick off, the SESS team showed their great competitive aggressiveness, holding the opponent team in half court with their strong capabilities. But it was a pity that they missed the few shooting opportunities obtained by smooth cooperation, with each shot stopped by ICST United goalkeeper and fullbacks. In the 13th minute of the first half, ICST United goalkeeper served a goal kick fault, resulting in the SESS team power forward Jiayi Chen (No.11) attacking the ball and swinging in a cross from the right. Swiftly, the SESS team midfield Lingyan Zhang (No.9) picked the ball, beat opponent midfield with her fast pace and excellent dribbling, misled opponent center back and goalkeeper with deceptive movements, and finally scored with a push shot to the far point. The encouraging goal was a wonderful boost for the SESS team morale. Afterwards, the SESS team made a number of attacks but to no avail, whereas ICST United posed several threats with lofted balls. But since the SESS team played tremendous defense, it held a slender 1-0 lead as the first half ended.
At half-time the teams changed end. After the first few minutes of the second half, the SESS team was awarded a corner kick thanks to fullback Liting Mai (No.23) . Midfield Lingyan Zhang (No.9) took the corner kick from the right side, the ball flying toward the rear point. Power forward Jiayi Chen (No.11) successfully broke out of defense of opponent fullbacks, and decidedly kicked the ball with the outside of her right foot. Unfortunately, the ball hit the goal post as the shooting angle was a little bit small. Subsequently, Congcong Mei played through the injury in place of ICST United power forward (No.36). In the 42th minute of the second half, Jiayi Chen (No.11) also created a corner kick opportunity for the SESS team. Different this time, the ball got into the goal with the collaboration of Jiayi Chen (No.11) and Lingyan Zhang (No.9). However, as the ball had already been across the goal line in the air, the referee judged it as a goal kick of ICST United. Still, the SESS team didn’t get the second score. Moreover, being quite exhausted, Jiayi Chen (No.11) was substituted with Hui Zhou (No.26). While every player on the field was worn out, there were growing threats from ICST United with high lobbing passes and attacks of power forward Congcong Mei. During this time, the SESS team center back Shanshan Liu (No.6), encouraged and gave commands to other team members while making powerful clearance kicks, providing a solid backing for the team. Finally, in the 2nd minute of the injury time, fullback Liting Mai (No.23) beat several opponents, drove down the side line and centered the ball from the left side. Midfield Ming Yang (No.8) dashed forward accordingly, cut through the opponent defense, and scored another goal with her speedy push shot to the far point at the 47th second. The score stood at 2 to 0 at the end of the game.
The final whistle blew. Although there were intense heat and injuries, the women’s football team of the School of the Earth and Space Sciences defended the champion in the 2021-2022 “Jinguo” Cup with every team member’s great efforts.