From the 20th to the 21st of February UYLC participated in the English Lacrosse National Universities 8-a-side Tournament in Preston. The competition was held at UCLan’s Sports Arena.
The Women’s Firsts team stormed through the first day of the competition despite the howling wind, drizzle and somewhat dodgy refereeing. The girls powered through in
games lasting 12 minutes one way, taking victories against UCL 1s, Sheffield Hallam, Nottingham Trent and UCLan.
The victory over UCLan is particularly notable for having an impressive score difference of 16-0 and a rate of two goals a minute. After an evening of recuperating back at the team’s accommodation and a binding meal out, day two followed the success of the previous day. Games on this day were refereed by official umpires and consisted of eight minutes each way, with a straight swap at half time.
UYLC played three games in the playoffs in the morning against Southampton 1s, UCL 2s and Warwick 1s. Victories in all of these games meant that York drew an easier lot in the qualifiers, where they beat Aberystwyth 8-2.
This ensured a place in the semi-finals against Leeds 1s. This was not the first time that York has played Leeds, losing to them in a BUCs match back in November. Absolutely determined to make it to the finals, the girls really rallied around. The result was some simply stellar lacrosse from the whole team, anchored by two star midfielders Chloe Searle and Connie Shaw. Obviously the team were absolutely elated when the final whistle went and the scoreline was 5-4 to York.
There was only a five minute turn around between the end of the semi-finals and the start of the final. UYLC were set to face long time rivals Leeds Beckett. Fierce competition for placement in BUCS league had resulted in a highly violent game of lacrosse for both sides as York narrowly beat them 19-17 back in December. This shines a slightly different light on the game being as much a grudge match with very high stakes.
Determined to keep the momentum from UYLC’s earlier victory in the semi-finals going, Captain Laura Carruthers gave a rallying team talk before the start of the finals, ensuring that the girls went into the game with controlled determination.
It was a great final for the team, as you would expect; the two teams were well-matched in ability but York secured dominance fairly early on. They scored the first goal about two minutes into the game, which constituted a massive confidence boost for the whole team. York successfully held the Beckett attack unit out for well over five minutes of play before they scored. Our transitions up the pitch were fluid and graceful, as were the goals scored by our straight attack.
When the final whistle went, the final score was 8-4 to York.
Speaking to the team’s Captain Carruthers she could share nothing but joy about her team’s success saying “we genuinely couldn’t believe it! We were national champions! Words cannot begin to express how immensely proud I am of my team, although I will give it a go! They trained so hard in the run up to the weekend, and gave their all in every single match that we played. Our win at Nationals was a real team effort, which made victory all the sweeter.”