The KU women’s football team drew 6-6 with London School of Economics’ (LSE) team after a second half comeback in the first match of the season.
KULFC were 6-1 down by halftime, but managed to score five goals in the second half, with strikers Caroline Simonsen and Pauline Hontanosas scoring two each, making the Kingston captain Anna Øglænd proud.
“People understood the formation and the game better in the second half,” Øglænd said after the game.
“We held the line, communicated and actually passed the ball to each other instead of taking random shots.”
LSE dominated throughout the first half, with two goals by striker Inka Pearson and one by Sophie Brinkmann within the first seven minutes of the match.
After a failed attempt by Hontanosas to close the gap with a shot that went well over the bar, it looked like the Kingston women were in for a crushing defeat.
Playing a deep defensive line and failing to catch the opposition offside, it took 18 minutes before midfielder Diana Marcela became Kingston’s first and only scorer in the first half, closing the gap to 3-1.
The KULFC goal was closely followed by LSE’s Alex Giombini’s goal from inside the box, who scored again 10 minutes later when Pearson made a sharp pass from the sideline.
Marcela attempted a pass towards goal, but without a Kingston player present in the box it ended up hitting the post, and with LSE taking charge again Pearson managed to get their last goal of the match, leaving the pitch with a 6-1 lead.
“The first two goals could have been offside, but we just couldn’t hold the line, people couldn’t hold their positions and that leads to slips,” Øglænd said.
The second half had a strong start for the Kingston women, and Hontanosas got two quick fire goals in the 48th and 49th minute, the second from a pass from Simonsen, turning the tide for the home team.
Despite steering the ship for most of the second half, it took 20 minutes before the 6-4 goal.
After an ugly tackle by Øglænd on LSE player Mint Kovavisarach, ignored by the referee, Simonsen managed to get her first goal before the LSE player was carried off the pitch by her teammates because of a suspected fractured ankle.
With Kingston quickly narrowing the gap, the home side were further encouraged when an LSE defender inadvertently put past their own goalkeeper and into the net from midfielder Elishka Josipovic’s pass.
With Kingston full of motivation, Simonsen managed to equalise in the last minute, and Kingston left the pitch celebrating their 6-6 tie.
“It was great and so much fun, it feels like we won,” a satisfied Øglænd said.
“Communication, willpower and positioning made the second half work.”
LSE captain Louise Armitage was also satisfied with a point.
“First half we played really good football, but in the second half the defence was a bit interesting and Kingston took advantage of that and scored some really nice goals.
“We have no complaints.”