By Vicky Sayer
A snowy start to February 1st and a cancelled flight to Heathrow led to a race against time for the twenty-three-strong first-team women’s lacrosse squad, hoping to still make their terminal five departure to Baltimore and begin a campaign against some top US university lacrosse teams.
Fortunately, we arrived with time to spare, and seven hours later found ourselves in the minus ten-degree conditions of Annapolis, Baltimore.
The next morning, the ladies headed to American University for their first game, a division one side with an impressive score sheet. Despite having twenty hours of jet lag in our legs, the team pulled out a strong performance. Although we walked away with a loss, a great deal was learnt from this opening game, particularly in terms of how to deal with the different style of lacrosse that our American counterparts would be playing.
Despite having twenty hours of jet lag in our legs, the team pulled out a strong performance.
Our next game took us to Goucher College, a division three side that we were determined to beat. The squad played some fantastic lacrosse and managed an impressive 24-5 win, a big confidence boost ahead of their upcoming division one school game.
On the Sunday morning, the ladies were fortunate enough to play a fun-spirited match against some Durham lacrosse alumni, followed by a lunch hosted at Goucher. This was a great opportunity to catch up with some of the American girls who had been in Durham last year doing their Masters degrees.
The following evening, after some much needed retail therapy at the USA’s second-biggest mall, Durham headed to the division one side at Lafayette University.
After a pump-up warm-up, and motivational captain’s speech, the DU Lacrosse 1s stepped out on the pitch ready to give it their all. The first half of this game was some of the best lacrosse the first team has ever played, and they found themselves up 4-3 at half time.
The first half of this game was some of the best lacrosse the first team has ever played
The relentless rainstorm beating down during that first thirty minutes was a playing condition that the British side were unsurprisingly pretty experienced in… However, the Lafayette team, a very well drilled squad, would come out hard in the second half and needless to say, they were fired up and ready to put Durham in their place.
Despite a fantastic second half of lacrosse, the final score was 12-8 to Lafayette. Although a little gutted, the visitors left the game feeling proud and flattered by how impressed Lafayette’s coaching team were by their performance.
Over the next couple of days, games were played against Monmouth University, Moravian and Chestnut Hill, with wins coming from two of the three. After a week jam-packed with lacrosse, Durham treated themselves to a well-deserved ‘Philly Cheese Steak’ sandwich on the last afternoon – a treat enjoyed by all, much to the delight of their Philadelphia-born coach Dave and some of the Philly American girls on the team!
The whole week was a big success, and has set the Durham Ladies up nicely to continue to progress ahead of their BUCS quarter-final in a couple of weeks’ time.
Photograph: Team Durham