By Gwen Matthews
Pic: Desiree Schirlinger
Saturday, 11 October was “just not the team’s day”, according to Eric Maboza, the Rhodes 1st women’s soccer coach. The team lost 2-0 in their second last match of the season which was against Fort Hare in the SASSU league. This was the match that Rhodes player, Andile Nkosi predicted would “be their toughest match this season”. Compared to previous years, the Rhodes women’s soccer team has displayed a similar level of performance. An exception has been the performance of striker Babalwa Magoqwana, who played for the Eastern Cape Team. Opposing the Rhodes team, Fort Hare featured the young Banyana-Banyana talent, Facile Bukelwa. According to second year student, Vuyelwa Zake,“The Fort Hare team has excelled throughout this year, having [shown] much team spirit and skill,” believing that these two components are the driving force for any team.
The lack of support by Rhodents in general troubled Nkosi, who believes that “anyone can do anything with support, soccer does not only involve just playing randomly with your legs but it is largely a mental game”.
Reflecting on the team as a whole, Nkosi said that their bond is one of a tight family. “If I miss practice I feel as though I am really missing out, as it is always a great jol,” she said. She attributes the comfortable atmosphere to their coach, Maboza, who encourages and leads the team by example “putting a lot of extra time in”. Rhodes are currently in 3rd place on the log with 10 points, and will be facing the Butterworth Campus on their last match of the SASSU league on 25 October.