By now, you’re probably well aware of how much I love following the women’s team. From the early days, when the goals weren’t quite raining down, they were still entertaining to watch—they played a fast, succinct attacking game that was sure to convert doubters—and now that we’ve had a few weeks to track the team, both here and on social media, the real personality of this team is starting to show; Betty Bavagnoli’s side has an enticing mix of youthful exuberance and well weathered patience, and as we’ve seen over their past three matches, that melange is starting to settle into a very, very dangerous side.
Aside from all that, the mere fact that the male and female international breaks are staggered is a life saver for those of us who loathe life without calcio; I couldn’t bare another week without my Roma injections, so tomorrow’s tilt is an absolute blessing. And as an added bonus, we’ve been gifted an important and enticing fixture.
Roma v. Chievo: November 17th. 14:30 CET/8:30 EST. Stadio Tre Fontane, Roma.
Thanks in part to their three-match unbeaten streak, one that featured convincing victories over Florentia and Orobica as well as a tough 2-2 draw with Tavagnacco, Roma have climbed their way up the table, all the way to seventh place. With the goals finally coming and the defense remaining resolute, Bavagnoli’s side seems primed to push past seventh place.
Hey, speaking of seven, that’s exactly how many points the Giallorosse have garnered through six matches—the same as Verona, Tavagnacco and, conveniently enough, tomorrow’s opponent, Chievo Verona. And with Florentia sitting just above them on ten points, and Sassuolo just one point past them, this could quite literally be the biggest match in the history of the club.
If Roma manage to knock off the Flying Donkeys tomorrow, and either of Sassuolo or Florentia drop points, Roma could be within shouting distance of AC Milan and Juventus, the league’s first and second place teams, respectively.
Again, given the newness of the team and my still developing understanding of the league as a whole, I can’t pretend to know exactly how Chievo play, but one look at the table gives us a clue: not well.
While they share the same point total as Roma, Chievo have been woeful at the back, conceding a league high 15 goals through those seven matches, while scoring only seven. That -8 goal differential should be music to the ears of Agnese Bonfantini, Annamaria Serturini, Flaminia Simonetti and Giada Greggi, Roma’s four horsewomen, as it were. Those four, along with the number ten Vanessa Bernauer, have been instrumental in Roma’s attacking turnaround, running circles around opposing defenses, propelling the club to seven goals during their three-match unbeaten streak. What’s more, Bavagnoli will now have Martina Piemonte back at striker, after the young Italian has recovered from a head injury she sustained several weeks ago.
After starting off such an ambitious project in perhaps the worst way imaginable, Bavagnoli’s steady hand, not to mention the bevy of talent at her disposal, is starting to bear fruit. A victory tomorrow, their third in four matches, would not only aid the development of this young side, but could, if their form carries on into December, put them within spitting distance of the top of the table.