We started day three with an early wake up to get ready to pick up our LAX sticks for the first time in America. We left the hotel at 9am and travelled two hours to Monmouth University in New Jersey. On arriving, we met our three coaches called Coach Ghent, Mary and Steph. We started our warm-up realising the heat was going to make everything twice as hard! Our session started with a few reminders of how to catch and throw properly.
Then we split into attacks and defence with the attacks doing a shooting and dodging drill and the defence doing an off ball positioning drill. With plenty of water breaks we then got into three groups and did three small drills which included the centre draw, shooting and free positions. We ended our session with a fun, competitive game.
We then set off to check in to our hotel at Tinton Falls for the next two nights. It was a quick turnaround to make our first competitive match against TS Shore at Long Branch High School.
As their team was of mixed ability it was agreed we would all play together with a rolling sub system (we were thankful of this as it allowed us to recover in the 31 degree late afternoon heat!)
After a quick goal from our opposition, T3 Shore, in the opening minutes we did not let our heads go down but instead brought it back to 1-1. We then took a 2-1 lead whilst the defence held out the organised attack. However, they then had a few consecutive goals so we called a time out to regather and finished the first half 4-6 down. After a very close second half, we scored from a fast break to finish the game 9-9.
The second match of the day was against challenging opposition, and with many of us still recovering from the first match in the strong heat, it was unfortunately a loss. Despite this, there were several strong performances. We put in the effort but unfortunately we couldn’t keep up the intensity against their speedy and organised attack.
We set off back to our hotel for a very welcome cold shower (after a dip in the outside pool!) before a team meeting ahead of tomorrow’s Beat of the Beach tournament and then headed to bed early.