What a start to the season as La Roca played their first league game against the selective might of RCD Espanyol. To add to the challenge the game was played in searing 30 degree heat but what a game it was as two very talented junior football teams went at each for 80 minutes. While Espanyol's second goal was clearly offside the result was probably a fair reflection of the game with Espanyol dominating posession and field position in their usual style but La Roca attacking with speed and precision when they gained posession. Final Result 2-2.
Natasha had a very solid game as she worked tirelessly in the middle of the field often competing against 2 and 3 Espanyol midfielders for the ball. While she had fewer posessions than usual she was often involved in key plays and was the only midfielder to play the full 80 minutes in the stifling heat yet she finished the game the strongest with her last 15 minutes winning several balls and continuing to push La Roca deep into attack. An outstanding physical performance.
To emphasize the significance of this result keep in mind that Espanyol is a huge football club with both a men and women teams in the top leagues in Spanish football. They have very strong junior development programs for both genders and are also very strongly selective. Therefore, they select the strongest players from around the area to join their development program. They have a huge budget, massive resources and a fantastic facility and they arrived to the game with four coaching staff a substitute list of 9 players and their selective team. While La Roca is a small club in a town of 15,000 people about 30 minutes northwest of Barcelona. It relies primarily on bringing players through their junior development program and adds to it with selective players that it can encourage to make the journey out to their town. For this game La Roca had 3 substitute players and two coaches available. It is chalk and cheese. What an incredible effort by the La Roca team. ???