The L1s 2023/2024 season: a review

Jenny Soderman

Soderman, J., Cam. South (2024), 1(1)

Published: 24 March 2024


The L1s took on Div 1N again for the 2023/2024 season.  Following a slightly nerve wracking finish in the bottom half of the table last year, this season the team were hoping for a return to their usual standards.  Here's a summary of the key steps that were taken to successfully execute that return to form.



1.    Recruit a new coach.

2.    Attend training every week (except when the pitch is frozen, and then attend the pub).

3.    Attend team brunches, secret Santa, and other events aimed at enhancing team spirit.

4.    Play 22 games of hockey.



Wins: 14

Draws: 3

Losses: 5


Total points: 45

Goal difference: + 31

Final position: 3rd



Step 1 of the method was very effective.  Prior to the season, the captains met with the new coach and were treated to tales of pre-match powerpoints and a brand new formation.  Whilst the weekly slide deck never materialised, the team gradually became accustomed to this new-fangled idea of two screens and the new formation was highly successful.  There can be no doubt that the new coach provided a renewed sense of energy to the team this year which was the foundation of our success.  Rumour has it that after a few train beers, the new coach admitted he’d really enjoyed it too, which we love to hear.  (We’re really looking forward to another season with you too, Tim.)


Step 2 of the method was also crucial to the team’s success.  Following on from Step 1, the team were motivated to turn up to training every week.  It should be noted here that due to the coach’s packed work schedule, the vice-captain stepped up to lead the training session on a handful of occasions, expertly delivering the plan that had been explained to her only an hour before by WhatsApp voice notes and scribbles on a hotel notepad from the coach.  (Thank you Kate!)


However, a big moment in Step 2 came at Christmas, when a frozen pitch led to a training session being moved to the pub.  This was the start of The Competition - which team would be crowned training team of the year?  The contestants were the All Stars (who started strongly with personalised t-shirts), the Half Hats (who were so adamant that their team colour was to be black that a request for them to wear bibs in the final session nearly led to fisticuffs) and the So Goods (the pioneers of the “bowling balls and skittles” goal celebration).  The competition was close, with the result coming down to a final crossbar challenge… despite some near misses, no crossbars were hit and the So Goods won the competition by a single point.  We hope that The Competition will return to L1’s training again next year.


Notwithstanding Steps 1 and 2, the season could not have progressed like it did without the most enjoyable team atmosphere.  Step 3 was led by the team’s social secretary and many thanks must go to her for all her work this year (thank you Maddy!). A particular highlight was the Secret Santa, which led to the formation of the team’s kazoo band -  we are sure the rest of the club will enjoy hearing some kazoo tunes at annual dinner.   Looking ahead, one of the key responsibilities of the social secretary next year will be securing sponsorship from the providers of our favourite half time sweets, Squashies - the photoshoots have already begun.   


In the completion of Step 4, the team spent a lot of time journeying to the far flung reaches of the East region - with only one other Cambridge based team in the league this year, the L1s are looking forward to the return of a few more local teams to the roster next season.   For the final game of the season, the team travelled to Bury St Edmunds for a battle against top of the league.  Bury started out strong and took an early lead, but the L1s were not going down without a fight, and some excellent linking play led to our first goal from Big Hannah on her Big Day Out.  1-1 at half time.  In the second half, the speed of the Bury forwards was on full display, and the captain decided that some shoulder-based delaying tactics were called for… cue a short corner and the final lemon award of the year.  Fast forward 20 minutes and the score was 3-1 to Bury, but then Big Hannah struck again and it was 3-2.  Bury started to get frustrated, we stayed composed and fought for the draw… a goal! Alas it was not ours, and the final score was 4-2.   Worth noting though that Bury have only conceded 12 goals all season, so to contribute one sixth of that in our final game is no mean feat.  We wish Bury good luck in their well-deserved return to Prem.  We also wish our stunning MoM Sophie a good final year at university next year… but hopefully not too good, because we’d love you to come back to South afterwards.  




So, what have we learnt? The stats show that the L1s have indeed had their most successful season ever, and that is something to be proud of.  But more than that, we have reached the end of the season as a group of friends united by a love for hockey and each other, having had a whole lot of laughs along the way.  It’s been an honour to be your captain this year, ladies.  Bring on next season!


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Sophie Dixon
Player of the Match

Such skills, we’re going to miss you!

Jenny Soderman
Lemon of the Match

Captain has to write a match report at some point