Sunday 29th January 2017 saw our Scotland Student Squad participate in their first friendly match of the season. Playing against the University of Durham Women, famous for their sport teams and strong Lacrosse performance, the team approached the challenge with a mixture of optimism and caution.
This was the first time the team had been together as a unit, after two trial sessions the successful players had only the bus journey down and a few hours before Face-Off to gel and become comfortable with their new team mates. With the help of Coach and Team Manager Sue MacLean and a mixture of team building and warm up exercises it wasn’t long before this new squad started to act and feel like a team that played with each other on a regular basis.
With Face-Off fast approaching, it was clear that the team were determined to start their campaign off on the right foot with St Andrews Universities Chase Judkins boosting moral talking about how she had a ‘good feeling’ about the day.
Sue saw it fit to appoint a captain who was experienced and confident in her playing and leadership ability. This saw Glasgow Universities Eleanor Kerins appointed Captain of the squad, and she did not disappoint. From pre-match encouragement to reviewing the match throughout, Kerins showed herself as a great appointment and we look forward to welcoming her back for the second friendly match against Newcastle.
Durham started the game full steam ahead with much of the play taking part in their half, but this did not stop Mollie MacLean from putting Scotland’s first points in the net. While the first quarter ended 3 – 1 to Durham, this did not diminish Scotland Students drive with Captain Kerins kicking of a 5-minute period of points alongside Grace Collison-Owen and a second shot in the net for Mollie Maclean in the 2nd quarter.
The team went into half-time only one point down, Durham lead 5 – 4 but there was still 30minutes to play. The 3rd quarter started with Durham shooting a further 2 points into the net but it wasn’t long before Anna Pitts-Tucker chased their lead with another point, shortly followed by Mollies third goal as we reached the end of the third quarter, again only one point the difference (7-6).
The Scottish side came into the fourth quarter with even more fire and desire to travel back to Edinburgh with the win. It was obvious that this was the case when Mollie Maclean made her 4th goal of the game, the match was level with 7 points each and only 10 minutes to play. As the clock kept creeping closer to full time, the Scotland squad moved in closer and retained a large percentage of the territory and remained in control of the ball with only 3 minutes to spare. The 8th goal was taken by Anna Pitts-Tucker and the squad were confident that this was the winning shot.
Quickly, the ball was in Durham possession and much to GK Chase’s fight to keep the ball out the net it had seemed that Durham had equalised the match with a last minute goal. Much to Scotland’s delight this was not the case and the point was disallowed, before they knew it the whistle for full time was called and Scotland Students had won their very first match as a team 7 – 8.
Captain Elanor Kerins had this to say about the match:
“It was a really close and competitive game and I was proud of how well we worked as a team, particularly having never played together as a whole unit before. We left everything on the pitch with a fantastic team effort all round, shown in the way we fought back from 5-1 down to win!
It was a great day and everyone is really looking forward to Saturday's game against Newcastle. Durham were strong competition for us and have left us with some things to work on, but overall I think we surprised ourselves at how well we played together and the level we can compete at. The standard of lacrosse was very high and it was a great performance from everyone on the pitch. Big thank you to Sue and Rachel for coaching and giving up their time to come with us!”
Lacrosse Scotland would like to say a massive thank you to Durham University who were excellent hosts and provided an amazing game for our side. We would also like to thank their officials for taking time to participate in the game. We would also like to thank Scottish Student Sport of arranging this match, the team’s kit and transport to this match.
Finally, thank you to the team’s coach and team manger Sue Maclean for looking after the team and providing a great amount of knowledge and assistance.
The Scotland Student team will be back in action again on Saturday 3rd of February as they travel to face Newcastle University.
Congratulations again to the team, we look forward to seeing you in action again.
You can view images from the match on our Facebook Page
1 – Chase Judkins
10 – Rosie Hazell
8 – Nadia Morris
22 – Emily Fletcher
15 – Iona Urquhart
6 – Emma Lister
17 – Lara Olszenka
16 – Leah McLardie
3 – Mollie Maclean (4)
21 – Eleanor Kersins (1)
4 – Grace Collison-Owen (1)
5 – Imogen Jones
12 – Alice Buchnan-Smith
7 – Anna Pitts-Tucker (2)
9 – Lily Morgan