On Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd of March, the St Mary’s 1st and 2nd Lacrosse teams went to the annual Lacrosse National Schools Tournament.
The draw for Day 1 of the tournament was encouraging and although last year's finalists were in our section, there were certainly teams that we could beat. So to form, we beat the teams below us and lost to the teams seeded above us in our section. But what was most encouraging was how close we were to those teams above. The 1st team against Bedford in our opening match, were 2-0 up at half time only to lose 2-3 and had they held that lead it certainly would have given us the belief we needed for the rest of the tournament to play our best against the stronger teams, something of which we were certainly capable. Against Malvern St James, with their handful of international players, we only lost 1-2. But with 3 wins and such a respectable effort against the top teams it meant we qualified into the 1st division for day 2, one higher from last year, and alongside lacrosse schools such as Stowe, St Swithuns, St Pauls and Putney High.
The U19B Tournament had 28 schools participating this year. St Mary's 2nd team was seeded in section 1 on Friday along with Guildford High, Caterham, Godolphin, Haberdashers Aske's, St Bartholomew's and Malvern St James. After a long day of matches St Mary's 2nd Team ended up winning 3 and losing 3. In their first games against Godolphin, Tish Frome-the goalie, had an amazing 6 saves in the first half alone! After 2 tough loses, the girls picked up their intensity and momentum, and won the following 2 matches against Caterham and St Bart’s. Guildford High was a tough match that resulted in a loss, but after a quick lunch the girls redeemed themselves by beating Malvern St James convincingly.
Over night the teams were reseeded by Friday’s results. So close and yet so far was probably the synopsis from day 2 for the 1st team. We were up there with the other 1st division teams and yet not quite good enough to win unless we are playing at our very best. We didn't play badly, but wanted so badly to convert our substantial possession into goals. We had several attempts at goal in the dying seconds of several matches but it was not to be. This was a relatively young team and has huge potential for next season.
Last year the 2nds were placed in Division 1, but this year they made it into section 1 of the Championship division. This is a huge accomplishment and they should all be very proud! Other teams in the section included Wycombe, St Catherine’s, Godolphin, Cheltenham Ladies College, Berkhamsted and Queen Anne’s. St Mary’s had a slow start in the morning losing to Berkhamsted, but by only one goal. They then won 2 close games back to back against Queen Anne’s and Cheltenham. In the match against Godolphin the team looked a bit timid. Many good things were accomplished on both ends of the pitch in the St Catherine’s game but it sadly resulted in a loss. The last game against Wycombe was hard fought. This was the girls 12th match in 2 days and they gave it their all but again came up short.
Both teams should be very proud of how they competed this weekend. The goals were spread around, the transition became more fluid throughout the weekend and the defence definitely communicated better with one another.