By Leonardo Buizza
Following their strong varsity win, the second team were looking for an emphatic ending to the end of the season. A 19-5 victory at home against a hapless UEA side put them in good stead for a showdown with Oxf*rd Brookes, who had won the reverse fixture 14-10, in one of the final BUCS fixtures of the year.
This time round Brookes were the ones with threadbare squad, having only brought 8 players along. Things began with a flurry of goals, Cambridge taking an early 2-0 lead, but Brookes hitting back immediately, scoring twice to stay within touching distance. As the quarter advanced we began to see the advantage of having a full squad, as Brookes started to tire – pit player Balint Szepfalvi scoring a couple of cool finishes to take the score up to 5-2.
The second quarter carried on much as before, with the Light Blues continuing to put the visitors under pressure. However, some complacency and a lack of sharpness in attack saw multiple occasions go to waste. Passes not going to hand, slow awareness and some easy turnovers meant that Cambridge failed to press home their advantage. Still, a trickle of goals kept coming and at half time Cambridge led Brookes by 7-3.
Some sharp words and a mental reset saw Cambridge swim off for the third quarter with renewed motivation. Three more goals from Balint, along with more inspired play from captain Vytautas, saw the seconds extend their lead. Swimmer convert Dimitris Kousoulidis began to make more use of his absurd pace, helping to set up more and more counter-attacks as Brookes tired, and Santiago “Jesus” Lago chipped in another goal, having already got one in each of the previous quarters.
The final minute of the third period saw what was possibly the highlight of the entire Light Blue sporting season. With Brookes a man down, an unmarked Leonardo Buizza received the ball on the right wing (ish). There was no defender in sight (due to another lapse in the Brookes defence), leaving only a whimpering keeper standing in the way of a glorious goal. A magnificent averagely-paced shot, straight into (not quite) the bottom-right hand corner saw the ball deflect off the ‘keeper into the goal – Buizza’s first of the season. The entire crowd of two people erupted in celebration, knowing what a momentous occasion this was. The quarter ended 13-3.
The fourth quarter saw the floodgates well and truly open. Having been set a target of twenty goals by captain Vy, the heroic seconds rose to the occasion. A huge ten unanswered goals flew into the Brookes net, with everyone keen to get involved in the goal rush. Of particular note was afore-mentioned Santi. Conscious that Brookes were now clearly flatlining in energy levels, Santi decided that his quarter would be spent no further than 5 metres from the Brookes goal. A gamble, some might say, but this is a man who knows when the reward outweighs the risk – six goals for this poacher (I dislike the term “goal-hanger”), taking his haul to nine for the game. More contributions from the rest of this magnificent team saw them end the game 23-3 – emphatic.