Delighted captains, Claire Thomas and Greg Markes, have hailed the success of the University of York Lacrosse Club after the men’s and women’s firsts teams rounded off a fantastic campaign by going undefeated on their way to league titles and Cup victories for both sides.
Overall, it has been a season of great progress for the club, and Thomas was pleased with how her side applied themselves throughout the campaign. “I think our results speak for themselves. We’ve had an undefeated BUCS campaign: winning Division 2B with a goal difference of 125 in 8 games, and – just last week – we won the Cup in a wonderful match.
“The boys have managed the same thing, and both seconds teams have come on leaps and bounds this season.”#
It was a period of transition for the women’s firsts this season, with a number of senior players leaving at the end of last year. However, the new team has gelled brilliantly and Thomas puts much of this down to team spirit and the new Fresher intake.
“My promise coming into the captaincy was winning the Cup and getting promoted, two things on which we’d only just missed out last year; and so, whilst I was confident we’d have a good team, whether or not we’d be good enough to manage that depended heavily upon our fresher intake.
“Fortunately, three fantastic first years have made a real difference, and we’ve worked harder than ever before this year, right from pre-season, to achieve what we have. All of the girls are indescribably brilliant. I couldn’t have wished for a better year as Captain.”
And with a hugely successful season behind them, the team have an array of fond memories to look back on. However, the players’ growing confidence has been a highlight for Thomas, and one match in particular stands out as most memorable.
“The highlight for me was our League match against Northumbria. We had several girls absent, with dissertation supervisions, a family holiday, assessed practicals, etc. We were several players down for what was always going to be an extremely close fixture against our biggest rivals in the division, but we generally got ourselves hyped up beyond belief, then went out and played some of our best lacrosse.
“It was such a close and physical game. We were certainly the underdogs, but we came out with unbelievable fire, and crushed it; I have never been so proud.”
Meanwhile, men’s firsts captain, Greg Markes, is equally as proud of his players for their efforts over the last season. The men have had an astonishing campaign themselves, also winning their league comfortably and winning the Cup in style.
“This season has been arguably the most successful season for the men’s lacrosse team for a number of years. Not only have we gone undefeated in the league, finishing with a goal difference of 179, as well as winning the cup, but we also introduced a seconds side into the league, which I can safely say has done the club proud,” Markes said.
“Whilst the league we are currently in is not too competitive, this itself poses several problems. Motivating my team to turn up to training when they know they don’t have a difficult fixture coming up, and pushing themselves in training can be difficult. However, I am incredibly proud of the progress the team has made this year.”
Like the women’s team, a strong sense of team spirit has been instrumental in the men’s success, and Markes sees lifting the Cup as the jewel in this season’s crown for the club.
“We started with a strong foundation and have been able to build a solid team that has proved to be successful in all parts of the field. My proudest moment of this season is most definitely winning the cup final. As the fixture was set to a date after the end of term, several key first team players were unable to attend the final.
“However, against the odds, and through amazing perseverance and commitment we were able to win the final against our fiercest rivals of the past two seasons – Durham seconds. Another highlight has of course been getting promotion in such an emphatic way – the numbers of the league table demonstrates perfectly our dominance. We still have Roses to work towards, where a victory would cap off a perfect season. The club remains hungry for success, and will bring this into next season.”
Both captains are well aware that they face a tough challenge next year after winning promotion, to face teams with a greater level of skill and pace. However, we can all be confident that UYLC will continue to fly the Black & Gold flag proudly at the upcoming away Roses, as they have done throughout this year. They will also be heading into an exciting BUCS campaign next season with a sense of belief that they can face the challenges ahead.