After losing a tightly contested match against league leading AC Milan two weeks ago, Roma got back to their winning ways by dusting off Orobica in the Coppa Italia last weekend. Undaunted by their first ever Coppa match, player of the month Annamaria Serturini and the rest of the Roma ragazze looked as sharp as ever, running the sharks off the pitch for the second time this season setting up a unique quarter final against...um...Roma—Roma CF to be exact, the city’s Serie B outfit.
However, before we tackle that fixture, Roma have some domestic business to take care of, a quick trip south to face lowly Pink Bari. Not to be confused with the multinational FroYo conglomerate, Pink Berry, though if you rounded up 11 FroYo slingers and put them in football kits they might fare just as well as the similarly named professional football club.
Pink Bari v. Roma: December 15th. 14:30 CET/8:30 EST. Stadio Antonucci, Bitetto.
In nine matches this season, Bari has allowed...are you ready for this...29 goals. 29! Pathetic doesn’t even begin to describe that record. As if letting conceding an average of over three goals per match weren’t bad enough, Bari has barely made a dent in the opposite direction, finding the back of the net only seven times. That -22 goal differential is, you guessed it, the league’s worst mark.
Given the disparity between the two sides, one can reasonably question how Betty Bavagnoli will approach this match. With such a clear gulf in talent, no one can really blame Bavagnoli if she rolls out a veritable B-squad, resting Serturini, Vanessa Bernauer, Agnese Bonfantini and the rest of Roma’s regulars, particularly with crucial fixtures against Fiorentina and Sassuolo looming over the next two weeks.
However, it’s precisely because of those teams, as well as fifth place Florentia (who are directly above Roma), that Bavagnoli must approach this match with maximum seriousness. The Viola, currently sitting in third place, eight points above Roma, have a gimme of their own against Orobica, so the Giallorosse aren’t likely to get much help there, but with Florentia and Sassuolo squaring off, Roma has a golden opportunity to potentially leapfrog both sides into fourth place. Should Florentia and Sassuolo draw and Roma takes care of business against Bari, we’d be looking at a two-way tie for fourth place, with both Roma and Sassuolo potentially sitting on 16 points. (If all that sounds confusing, it’s probably because of the whole Florentia-Fiorentina thing, which still gives me editing nightmares)
Considering what a hole they dug at the start of the season, potentially finding themselves in fourth place at nearly the halfway point of the season would be a minor miracle for Roma. We mention it nearly every week, but, given their talent and their youth, Roma really has a chance to build something special here, and if they can make quick work of Bari this week, that something special might come sooner than anyone could have possibly imagined when the season kicked off in September.
This one could be a bloodbath, Serturini could very well have a double hat-trick. You won’t want to miss this one.