On Sept. 9, the Senior girls’ football team, emerged victorious in the Fifth Challenge Cup Girls football tournament. The tournament was hosted by Unison World School in Dehradun.
The girls played five games in the tournament and competed against Doon International School, Moravian Institute, The Asian School, Vantage Hall Girls’ Residential School, and Unison World School.
The first game was against the host Unison World School. Despite waking up at 4:30 a.m for the game, the girls’ mental and physical abilities were clearly unaffected, depicted by their win 2-1.
They kept their winning streak alive as they won the next game against Doon International School 3-0.
Remaining unbeaten, the team progressed on to the semifinals and played against Moravian Institute. The score after full time was nil to nil, after which, the game automatically advanced to penalties where they clinched a 2-1 victory that game.
The finals were played against Vantage Hall. The girls went on to win the game 2-1, claiming the trophy.
Mr. Arjun Puri, the coach described their win as “something [the team] deserved” for the amount of effort and determination the team had put in. There was a tough and arduous training program which included 6:30 a.m practices, 5 km runs, and grueling workouts at the gym.
Mr. Puri was “delighted and proud” of the performance of the team despite the challenges that they faced. Mr. Puri said that he was impressed by the “resilience” shown by the girls as he described Hanson field as “not the ideal place to practice.”
He started coaching the girls this year in 2018 and said that “none of this would be possible without Mr. Francesco,” the coach who left Woodstock the previous academic year.
The hard work shown by the girls paid off individually as well. Amani Mohan, Class of 2021, received the Golden Glove.
Diya Singh, Class of 2019, the captain of the team said, “[I am] excited to see what the team can go on to do [in the future].” She was a vital part in the cup-win, scoring four goals in total.
On the win, Tara Puri, Class of 2020, a striker in the team said, “It only happened after a lot of effort.” She said that she was “grateful” that the “transition of coaches had gone smoothly” and the fact that the team’s new coach is a “warm and friendly guy.”
The girls at the start of the tournament were also given an incentive to win; Tara Puri explained that the team had made a bet with Mr. Puri to shave off his two-year-old beard if they would win.
Photo by Arjun Puri
Edited by Shivaansh Garg and Hyenjin Cho