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National Schools Lacrosse Championship 2019 - Key Numbers

Berkhamsted crowned 2019 U19A Championship winners

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Berkhamsted produced a perfect day’s display rounded off with a convincing 4-1 win against Guildford High in the final to take the National Schools Lacrosse Championships U19A title.

It proved to be lucky 13 for Berkhamsted as they won their thirteenth straight match across the two days to win the Championship they last took in 2016.

The final was contested amidst a raucous atmosphere as the watching teams and supporters filled the 500-seat stand, and despite the appalling weather conditions, delivered some high-quality lacrosse.

Earlier Berkhamsted had downed Withington in the Last 16 and Benenden in the Quarters before beating Caterham 5-3 to earn their final spot.

Guildford had defeated Westonbirt in a Last 16 tie, Moreton Hall in the QFs and a 3-1 win against last year’s champions Lady Eleanor Holles sent them through to the final.

But Berkhamsted asserted their dominance early on and once going 1 up, continued to pull away as the game wore on.

Guildford High ‘keeper Dylan Whittington, who picked up the goalie MVP award, attempted to keep her side in the game with a number of saves, but by the time Guildford got on the scoreboard it was already 4-1 with only a couple of minutes to play.

It was a second win for Berkhamsted at the venue in the last six months as they also won the inaugural School Challenge Cup held in Aldershot back in November, putting their familiarity with the stadium site to good use.

All the teams that made the U19A Top 8 this year have also earned a place in the 2019 School Challenge Cup, scheduled for Sunday 17 November.

School Challenge Cup Qualifying Teams
Berkhamsted; Guildford High; Caterham; Lady Eleanor Holles; Bedford; Benenden; Moreton Hall and Wycombe Abbey.

MVPs

GK: Dylan Whittington - Guildford High
Def: Emma Savage - Berkhamsted
Mid: Eleanor Bruce - Berkhamsted
Att: Bella Streule - Berkhamsted

Vivien Jones Memorial Award: Anya Devon-Berry - Guildford High

Other Under 19 Divisional Winners

U19A Division 1: St Paul’s Girls
U19A Division 2: North London Collegiate
U19A Division 3: Haileybury
U19B Division 1: St Catherine’s
U19B Division 2: St Helen & St Katharine
U19B Division 3: St Bartholomew’s

One Team One Dream One Pound: England U19 Women

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England Women’s U19 squad are asking the lacrosse community to join together to support a One Team, One Dream, One Pound initiative ahead of this Summer’s World Championships.

In August, England Women’s Under 19s will travel to Canada to compete in the 2019 Women’s U19 World Championships as the bronze medal holders from 2015 and now have sights set on going even further in 2019.

In support of their quest for success, Wednesday 27th February, will be their Fundraising Day centred around the One Team, One Dream, One Pound initiative.

The squad are looking to reach a £10,000 goal ahead of the Championships and just a £1 donation from each person involved in lacrosse in England would make a tremendous difference to the team.

Schools, clubs and universities are being encouraged to incorporate the day into a training session or practice, and if 27th February isn’t the best day for you, that’s fine - this can be done at any time to best support the girls towards success in Canada.

Donations can be made via the team JustGiving page which can be found at www.englandlacrosse.co.uk/oneteamonedreamonepound

California Daily Diary: Double delight ahead of USA game

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GAMEDAY 4 vs Japan development team and Fresno State 

In our first international game of the tour, England took on Japan in what was set to be an exciting and fast paced match. 

Some great man on man defence resulted in an excellent turnover, which saw defender Emma Oakley blaze the ball through the midfield and into attack where she gave a textbook feed to midfielder Claire Faram who slammed the ball top corner for the first goal of the game. This impressive team performance set the tone for the first quarter which ended England 6 Japan 0.

England started the second quarter equally as strong, dominating the draw controls against a strong Japanese midfield. Although Japan’s attack came back against England’s defence scoring two quick goals, we took control of the quarter with some excellent partnerships.

Notably Torz Anderson and Alex Drewe, where Anderson successfully managed to save the ball going off the sideline with a dramatic dive and flick to Alex Drewe. A give and go between Drewe and Anderson resulted in an impressive top right screamer from Drewe. Torz continued to punish the Japanese defence with a classic inside roll dodge, which brought the score to 8-2 at half time.

We started the third quarter in zone defence, during which Chloe Chan heroically saved a shot by putting her body on the line. This gave the attack a chance to execute their man up play which successfully resulted in a goal, much to Coach Phil’s excitement. 

This momentum was carried forward as England extended their lead to 11-2 at the end of the quarter.

The fourth quarter saw some of our young England stars come to the fore. Tilly foster won some fantastic draw controls and Tilly Shires worked the Japanese defence to get herself a free position which she nailed with a fantastic bounce shot into the top left corner.

The defence held out the Japanese attack with some great 1v1 and some fantastic hits from Ellie Hillier, who I’m sure has learnt the ability to crush the opposition from her sister.

England finished the game off strong with a 13-5 win.

We then had a long break between the Japan game and the game against Fresno State.

The team spent their time visiting the Stanford store for gifts, and recruiting fans (shoutout to Liv Wimpenny for making a 10 year old’s day by chatting to her). After some napping, eating and a bit of scouting the opposition the team got ready for their next game versus Fresno State.

After a close game with Japan prior to playing us, Fresno State came out fighting and with nothing to lose.

The first quarter saw many changes in possession with both teams playing at a similar standard. This was reflected in the score line at the end of the quarter, 3-3.

The second quarter was also very close, however England just managed to edge ahead, leading 5-4 going into the third, and unexpectedly last quarter.

After conceding 2 goals and going behind, a well-needed time out was called by coach Phil. A quick motivational speech was well received and England came out determined, winning the majority of the remaining 50/50 balls.

This increase in possession helped us increase our goal count. Two goals in quick succession from Ela Hazar, sandwiched by goals from Olivia Hompe gave us a 9-6 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Before the start of the fourth quarter, the floodlights were prematurely switched off, and a significant delay in turning them back on resulted in both teams reluctantly agreeing to call the match. 

A quick stop off at Chipotle for dinner and briefly witnessing some ABBA karaoke in the lobby raised our spirits and we went to bed feeling excited for the games vs the USA.

England now take on USA tonight (Saturday) at 8PM and USA U19s at 10.30PM both free to watch on Lax Sports Network

California Daily Diary: Women keep up the winning streak

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Throughout the England Senior Women’s California Tour, members of the squad will be giving regular updates from inside the camp to supporters back home.

Wednesday began with a morning of training at Stanford. This was a great chance to check out the venue for the Spring Premiere and to put in some extra practice ahead of a busy second half of the week.

A well-received afternoon off gave players a chance to take some down time. This included a trip into San Francisco to have an explore, a spot of shopping and some great Buffalo Chicken Wings to refuel ready for another big day.

Gameday #3 v UCal, Berkeley - W - 12-6

We couldn’t have hoped for a more impressive setting to play our third match than at Cal Berkeley. The sun was shining over the 80,000 seater stadium which set a positive team vibe.

After a very focused warm up, England came out with a bang. With the team looking sharp, we took a quick 4-1 lead in the first quarter.

The midfield passing was looking seamless and following some good ball movement and patience in attack we made the most of playing under the FIL rules that we are now so used to.  The dominance continued, finishing the half 8-2 up.

A noticeably strong performance from Emily Gray featured 3 draw controls and a beautifully executed goal. The first half also saw some power and finesse stick skills from Olivia Hompe resulting in some impressive goals. 

Moving into the second half, we switched to playing the current NCAA rules of our hosts.

Despite this change up, we maintained our lead getting some great team turnovers in the midfield.  The team resilience ran high as the sun set over the golden seats of Memorial Stadium. 

The team fitness shone through and a great fight to the very last minute left the team buzzing on a high. The final score was 12-6 and then some fun scrimmage at the end topped off a great day.

England Points: Olivia Hompe (5,1), Jenny Simpson (2,2), Alex Drewe (1,0), Claire Faram (1,0), Emily Gray (1,0), Camilla Hayes (1,0), Ela Hazar (1,0)

National Team Director Phil Collier also spoke to Lax Sports Network about England Lacrosse, the California Tour and this weekend’s Spring Premiere. Watch below:

Coaches invited to attend new Junior Coaching Seminar

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England Lacrosse is hosting a junior coaching seminar in conjunction with the NWLA to support the development of junior lacrosse.

The seminar is for coaches working in junior lacrosse (U8 – U16) regardless of experience, and will be an opportunity to hear from a range of coaches from inside and outside the organisation, as well as giving attendees the chance to raise questions and subjects relevant to their coaching.

The seminar will take place on Thursday 21 February, 7.30pm at England Lacrosse Head Office, Manchester and will cover a range of coaching ideas but will be centred around the title: Junior Lacrosse isn’t just transition: Coaching the Fundamentals of Settled Play.

This is the first of what is hoped will be a regular opportunity to support the development of junior lacrosse with a series of seminars covering different aspects of the game.

These sessions will be as successful as the game makes them, it is hoped we are able to attract a range of coaches who can share support and ideas as the seminars progress.

There is no cost to attend, just register your attendance using the form below:

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California Daily Diary: Winning start for England Women

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Throughout the England Senior Women’s California Tour, members of the squad will be giving regular updates from inside the camp to supporters back home.

Our first team diary comes from Laura Merrifield, Claire Faram & Jenny Simpson

Hello from sunny LA! 

It seems like ages ago we met at Heathrow to kick-start our Cali Challenge. Sleep, movies and lots of food entertained us for the 10+ hour flight which was all worth it for the beautiful weather that greeted us in LA.

After arriving at the University of Southern California campus, we had a chilled afternoon spent preparing for the week ahead - A dip in the pool, mobility, team meeting and dinner at one of the USC dining halls. Great vibes headed into our first game of tour.

GAME DAY #1: England vs. SoCal All Stars - W - 15-5

Excitement levels were high as we stepped onto the pitch for our first test of tour. Our dynamic new warm up designed by James Wild, our Head of Athletic Performance, prepared us for a great start to the match. A quick 3-0 lead, with goals from Laura Merrifield, Olivia Hompe, and Camilla Hayes set the tone for the rest of the match. A solid defensive performance kept our opponents to only five goals with a shout out to Ellie Hillier who led the defence in caused turnovers. It was great to finally try our new defensive tactics against different opponents. 

Claire Faram and Liv Wimpenny put up a strong effort in the midfield winning 9 of our 14 draw controls in the match. These possessions allowed us to really dictate the pace of the game and a very balanced attacking unit led to ten different goal scorers, with Sophie Tamblyn, the youngest player on tour, racking up two goals in her Senior England debut. A great overall team performance produced a 15-5 win!

Following the game, an afternoon full of team bonding involved exploring the USC campus and a competitive “Spikeball” tournament. We head to San Francisco tomorrow morning, with our next game on Tuesday against UC Davis, so be sure to check in for more updates on Team England’s #CaliforniaChallenge

England Points: Olivia Hompe (2,3), Laura Merrifield (2,2), Camilla Hayes (2,0), Jenny Simpson (2,0), Sophie Tamblyn (2,0), Liv Wimpenny (1,1), Kirsten Lafferty (1,1), Alex Drewe (1,0), Anna Featherstone (1,0), Claire Faram (1,0), Torz Anderson (0,1), Hannah Bray (0,1).