On Wednesday, the 16th November Brunel University’s Lacrosse 1st team travelled down to Chichester to play the University of Chichester’s first team. On the bus ride down the team were nervous knowing that Chichester had only lost to Brighton so far in the season, but having won our first match against Brighton we had confidence in our ability. As a team, we were lacking in our experienced players and had a majority fresher based team, of which some were injured, we knew we were in for a tough fight ahead. Jumping off the bus into a quick warm before starting the game, nerves were running high as we discovered very few of us could stay on our feet on the AstroTurf. After a quick cheer, we were into our first quarter of the sixty-minute game.
As the whistle blows we are quickly away with the ball, with high pressure from their defensive from the offset the attack were tested. With quick ball movement and exceptional stick work for such a new team, we managed to move the ball around and successful score our first goal to start the match. Chichester were ready from the draw and managed to get a quick goal equalising the score. After a quick briefing to our defence on how to deal with their strong attack we upped the pressure which made the game from then on, a very end to end game. With the never-ending pitch sprints and few goals score every few minutes, the teams were happy when the whistle bringing the first quarter to end.
After the brief minutes, we were back on for the second quarter. The game started of scrappy with many checks and dropped balls, both teams struggles to gain much ground with goal scoring. Our defence held their own, putting pressure on the ball and forcing Chichester to make unforced errors. With smooth transitions from defence to midfield and into attack were we picked away at Chichester’s defence creating gaps and managing to score taking us ahead by several goals.
At half time, we could not get complacent as we still had a long way to go to win the match, we could see Chichester’s were ready to come out fighting, so to regain focus we did our team jumps before a chant and back onto the pitch. Straight away Chichester’s aggression levels had gone up, we knew we had to equalise this without letting discipline slip. With a new referee both teams started to become frustrated by the lack of calls being made, one of Chichester’s top players ripped a shot directly into our Captain Taylor Heywood, the shot hit her square in the thigh, creating an immediate bruise. After a quick time out to let her regain her focus from the pain and also to calm down as no yellow card was given out for such a dangerous foul. We continued to play and pull ahead, but he injuries were still coming. With Lucy Halliday, one of the freshers struggling with shin splints and Angharad Davies limited by her recently sprained Ankle, we were starting to feel the lack of legs from the returners such a Katie Stebbing and Emmy Boyland. In the same third Katie Townsend was hit by a lacrosse stick in the elbow knocking a nerve and sending her arm into spasm. With limited subs as she recovered the team started to rely on the incredible fitness and skills of Ilana Marismari. Once all players were recovered and back on pitch the true fight of the team come out as we continue to increase our lead and the Chichester team began to give up.
The final quarter rolled in and as tired as we were the defence held strong and the attack kept fighting to continue to score goals. With exceptional teamwork for a new team Brunel managed to finished the final quarter with a score of 15-9. The match was a tough fight and made the everyone on the pitch work hard for that win. We look forward to our next match against Chichester, we expect a fight but are raring to go and willing to put 110% in to come away with a convincing win! Bring on the 15th of March.