England 6 10 16
Japan 6 0 6

Second half rally gives England win over Japan

Team England scored 10 unanswered goals in the second-half of their 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup test event to record a 16-6 victory against Japan.

England were tested by the visitors during a first-half where both teams exchanged goals back and forth to go in to the break tied at 6-6, before the second-half shut out saw the home side pull away.

The two sides met at Surrey Sports Park, the venue for this year’s World Cup, after Japan had already completed a 13-5 victory over Durham University in the morning.

England raced into an early 2-0 lead after Jenny Simpson stole the ball from the Japanese goalkeeper 30 yards out of her goal to finish a long-range effort into the empty net before Laura Merrifield quickly added another all within the first 90 seconds.

However, the early goals seemed to spark Japan into life and the game was all square at 2-2 after 5 minutes.

Goals continued to be traded at regular intervals throughout the rest of the half in a very nip and tuck fashion with each side taking the lead then being pegged back by the other.

A second for Jenny Simpson, and goals for Lucy Lynch and Ruby Smith were countered with four of Japan’s own to give the touring side the lead for the first time at 5-6 with 03:01 on the clock.

The scoring in the first-half was brought to a close with a Liv Wimpenny goal with just 10 seconds left to tie the game at 6-6 going into the break.

After the break, it was Japan who started the faster of the two sides, having a sustained period of possession requiring the England defence to be alert to their opponent’s search for the lead.

Thankfully for Team England, Japan’s shooting was fairly erratic and a number of opportunities to test the goalie were wasted.

And it was Team England who finally managed to get the breakthrough 10 minutes into the second-half as Izzy McNab claimed a loose ball from a failed Japanese attack and fired a long clear downfield which eventually found its way to Sophie Morrill who made no mistake in putting England 7-6 up.

The goal then signalled the opening of the floodgates and England’s attack seemed to grow in confidence as the Japan side, who were playing their sixth game in 3 days, began to tire and England found plenty of space to work scoring opportunities.

Sophie Brett added four second-half goals to lead the English scoring on the day, Liv Wimpenny another two and Sophie Morrill one as England pulled away, delighting the crowd with the kind of fluid play that had been missing in the first-half.

And by the time Camilla Hayes scored with 01:30 left, England had posted a 10-0 scoring streak in the second-half to take the score to 16-6 and give the girls a deserved victory.

Team England now move on to the 2017 Rathbones Home Internationals in Cardiff, 7-9 April, as they continue their preparations for the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.