The European Sports Conference (ESC) took place from November 3 to 5, taking the Senior Boys Varsity football team to Zug, Switzerland.
The team had a great experience in meeting players from other international schools and they represented ISP impeccably. Despite mixed results, all the students benefitted a lot from the trip. They learned humility, sportsmanship and how to share responsibilities and accept decisions.
The boys got off to a hesitant start in Zug and experienced difficulties with minor injuries early on. Coach Carlos was a great help in managing the player rotations on the pitch, using his creativity to swap players and change positions strategically. Sebastian, Grade 12, was a particularly strong support for the team, stopping a great number of balls during the Boys tournament. There was a great ambiance and atmosphere throughout our time in Zug and I think that the group have returned to school with motivation, fun stories, and great memories for the future.
We're looking forward to a strong and positive year for the Boys Varsity football team this academic year!
ESC Zug Tournament Match Reports
"It is better to lose by six goals once than to lose six games by one goal"
On Saturday, November 5, the Boys Varsity soccer team travelled to compete at the European Sports Conference hosted by the International School of Zug – Luzerne. There, ISP was joined by schools from Lisbon, Barcelona, Milan, Berlin, and others – ensuring a very high level of competition. For our team, not having played together before, this was always going to be an uphill battle.
On the first day of the tournament, we played three games against the American School of Barcelona, the International School of Lausanne, and St Julian's School (Lisbon). Our first game, played at 9:00, was our wake-up call as we were defeated 6-0 by Barcelona. This being said, the score line did not fully reflect our performance as there were some fluke goals, which didn't really make sense to anyone. In the end, however; we were thoroughly beaten by a greater opposition.
In the second game we were, again, beaten, but this time by a score line of 0-2. This was one of our best games as a team as it showcased our defensive capabilities against a physically superior opponent. Although we conceded twice in the first half (one of which was an own goal), we remained concentrated and held them at two. Unfortunately, this game also left four of our fourteen players injured: namely Martin (back), Kenny (thigh), Gregory (knee), and our captain Nils (thigh).
The third and last game of the day was the compounded result of fatigue, injuries, chaos, and (very) poor refereeing. To start, all of the aforementioned injured players insisted on starting the match. However, the team was not built to last, as Nils was lost in the second minute of play followed by Kenny at half time. Exasperated and playing against a team who had played one game less than us, the game finished at 0-8.
On the second day, we played both the International School of Bavaria and the Berlin Brandenburg International School. Both of these games, despite being losses, were both games we felt proud of.
Against the International School of Bavaria, we showed a high level of concentration and solidarity; we did not concede during the first half. Unfortunately, the referee decided he wanted to make our life as difficult as possible, calling Darcy for six questionable and sometimes even non-existent fouls. Additionally, he decided to award a penalty kick for a blatant dive, destroying our defensive momentum and disrupting the flow of the game. This game finished 0-2, and left us feeling robbed.
Our final game, the ninth/tenth place decider, was the pinnacle of our tournament. By this point, we were universally seen as the worst team there, especially considering the two colossal defeats and the zero goals we had shown for ourselves. This game was the game we had to win in order to continue competing with other schools.
They scored first in about the eighth minute of play, suggesting that this might be yet another brutal loss, but we rallied and equalized through Kotta. Our opposition, the spectators, and even we ourselves were in disbelief; we definitely were not meant to be able to score. Riding a wave of momentum and newfound motivation, we scored again through Darcy. Unfortunately, this euphoric state was only to be temporary, as BBIS scored three times to make the game 4-2. Ultimately, despite being able to level the score at 4-4, this was not meant to be, as we lost 6-4.
The tournament, however; was a great experience and showed us all where we need to improve in order to become more competitive. Finally, on behalf of the Varsity soccer team, thank you to all members of staff involved in letting us travel abroad and participate in this tournament.
Kenny, Grade 12
Boys Senior Varsity Football Team