Holly Sampson, BA Middle Eastern Studies and World Philosophies
For the second year running, SOAS have defended their title as Varsity Champions against their rival London Met. In a highly competitive 3 days, SOAS competed against London Met in a multitude of different sports and came out on top with a 12-5 win. The first day saw both the women’s and men’s teams winning futsal as well as the Mixed Volleyball Team coming away with a 3-0 win. Anna Fumagelli commented on their win, following last year’s loss, saying that ‘every single player gave their best to work together towards victory’. At the end of day one, SOAS had a solid lead, 3-1, with the only loss being a narrow defeat in Men’s Basketball.
SOAS continued their winning streak into the second day with wins from Men’s Rugby, Women’s Rugby and Netball 2s. Following a fantastic season for Men’s Rugby, their Captain, Red, expressed his pride saying, ‘the rugby boys have done it again, I’m so proud! We showed a lot of grit and determination to scrape past a very scrappy team’. However, before this, the Women’s team competed against the London Met team and gained another point for SOAS in the Varsity Competition. That evening also saw Netballs 2s defend last year’s Varsity win with another amazing performance. Whilst the match was close, they came away with an incredible 28-22 win in an exciting match. Rebecca Brahde commented on the incredible atmosphere that Varsity had this year, ‘there was so much love and support for all the teams, a great sense of community and generally, great vibes at varsity this year. We greatly appreciated the support for our match and thoroughly enjoyed giving support to other teams and watching some amazing sportsmanship’. SOAS closed out the second day with a 4 point lead, 7-3, with only 8 sports left to win on the final day.
The final day did not disappoint. SOAS secured their win of Varsity with wins from both Men’s and Women’s Football. Men’s Football 1s and 2s both won their matches 4-3 in the sun and Women’s Football secured an epic 4-0 win. Lois Iddles, Women’s Football Co-Captain, stated that ‘despite a quiet and even first half, SOAS came out with a bang second half. Sophie Bennett kicked off the scoring with an outstanding top-bins goal which was followed by Lara Dihmis’ second hat-trick of the season, securing a 4-0 win for SOAS! Our solid defensive line, fluid passing and positive attitude left London Met with no way through’.
To round up North London Varsity 2019, SOAS and London Met gathered in their masses in the Science Centre to watch Women’s Basketball and Netball 1s close out 3 days of fierce competition. Women’s Basketball was a hugely entertaining match and, despite the loss, was a great show of SOAS’ talent. The final match of the evening was Netball 1s and following a painfully close loss last year, the team was eager to get back out there and prove once and for all that they are champions. Emily Hobhouse, Netball Captain, spoke about the nerve-wracking game, ‘Our 30-29 win was motivated by the epic SOAS support on the sidelines and followed the 28-22 victory of our amazing second team. Varsity is one of those events where support for the SOAS sports teams really shines through and as captain, it was such a joy to see how so many people came to support us regardless of their prior knowledge of the game. Thanks to all of you and to all my beautiful talented teammates’. Arguably, this sums up Varsity amazingly. Even though winning is always great, it is the atmosphere, the comradery and the array of talent that is showcased at Varsity that makes it so special. Not only did SOAS Sports prove their skill and sporting excellence, but they demonstrated what SOAS Sports is all about, being part of one big supportive team. It was an awesome way to end a brilliant year for SOAS Sports.