Snow, Soccer, and Switzerland, Oh My!


Hallie M. and Nicolas L.

Last weekend the SIS senior soccer teams competed in the European School Sports League (ESSL) tournament in Basel Switzerland, and to say the least, this way by far the craziest way to end the season. We left on a Wednesday, the same day Sweden had record falling snow, causing 7 people to miss the flight! Once we finally arrived, 2 people’s luggage didn’t make it. This series of unfortunate events only made us doubt ourselves more going into the first day of matches.

The Boys

The SIS varsity boys’ team is one which has been highly successful in recent years, being crowned the champions of the Nordic regions for 5 consecutive years in a row. Now it was time for a bigger challenge. Would the boys team be able to make a run in a continental tournament? They would soon find out.

After waking up on the first day, there was a good atmosphere. Everyone was downstairs to get breakfast and there were only positive vibes going around. This helped ease some of the stress on many players. After breakfast the boys got on the bus to the venue which is where they had their first game.

They laced up their boots, and like an ancient Roman army ready to protect their home city, they lined up in formation to claim continental glory. The first game that tournament was against Eindhoven. SIS was up 2-0 after a positive first half and an inspired performance. The game quickly took a turn for the worse and they conceded 3 goals in the second half leaving the game 2-3 for Eindhoven.

The next game against Geneva proved similar as the boys conceded a few goals and then just completely gave up, which put everyone in a horrible mood. They went back to the hotel after that game, charged up overnight and were ready the next morning to go out and try again. Again they boarded the bus and got ready to go.

Unfortunately, the results were similar to the first day. The performances could have been much better but the whole team seemed to have given up on each other. This is not the performance anyone was expecting and it is fair to say that it was a horrible showing from the team.

unnamed-1At the end of the tournament there was a “All Star Team” comprised of the best performances from individual players in the tournament. SIS’s very own Sebastian D. made it onto the team of the tournament in the midfielder position after an outstanding performance throughout the whole tournament by bossing the midfield and creating chances for the team. Wherever the ball was, Sebastian was there too. It is said that the earth is covered 70% by water, the other 30% by Sebastian. Another SIS player Nicolas L was nominated for the goalkeeper position but unfortunately did not end up winning.

In the end the boys reflected back on the trip as a learning experience. The focus was not there, the drive was not there and the hunger to win was not there either. They will be looking to improve over the winter break until they start playing again in spring.

The Girls

Going into day 1 of the tournament the Senior Girls team had only 10 players,  creating an atmosphere of hopelessness. The whistle blew and the first game began with a big bang. It was clear we were no competition for College du Leman (CDL), the team who ended up winning the whole tournament.

After an embarrassing loss, we went into our second game with our heads down. Again the whistle blew and shots were fired. However despite the score, we, as a team, improved immensely. We communicated, stayed in our positions, and made controlled passes (for the most part). This pattern continued for the rest of the day, leaving the team feeling good regardless of the scores.

The next morning we woke up with fire in our eyes. We were bound to win a game. In our first game of the day, we took the field and controlled the game. Although we were tightly matched in the second half, Stine managed to score a goal in the top right corner. It was incrediimg_0704ble! The girls all celebrated, but quickly got back into position because they knew they had to keep a strong defence to maintain their lead. Finally, after an intense finish to the game, the SIS Senior Girls pulled out a victory!

With newly found confidence they went into their fifth and final game against their local rivals, International School Stockholm Region (ISSR). This game in particular started quite slowly, but quickly gained speed after ISSR scored a goal. Coming off the win, the SIS girls were not going to take it. They fought hard in the defence and midfield trying to get the ball to the strikers, however the ball only got there on one occasion. ISSR had a strong defensive line leaving SIS struggling to move the ball. To their dismay, the girls lost.

However, despite some rough patches along the way, they did not come in last overall! The girls came in fifth place along with receiving the sportsmanship award! None of this could have been possible though, without our trusted mascot Frederick.

Both teams are now back in Stockholm, going into the off season with lots to think about. Both teams played below par and there is a lot they must improve before competing next term. Stayed tuned for updates in the spring season!

Competing Schools: International School of Eindhoven (Netherlands), International School Stockholm Region (ISSR), College de Leman (CDL), International School of Geneva, International School of Basel (ISB).