Winning start for Team GB at historic World Games event

Team GB defeated Japan 9-5 in their first match on the opening day of lacrosse at The World Games 2017.

In an all-round performance, seven players were in the goals for GB to come out on top against a young spirited Japanese side.

The World Games are overseen by the International Olympic Committee and viewed by international sporting bodies as a precursor to Olympic inclusion and the Olympic Games.

The World Games is used by the IOC to test new and exciting sports with a mind on helping to increase the diversity and popularity of the Olympics in to new channels.

Along with some minor changes to field size and timings, the main difference for lacrosse at TWG2017 is a switch to 10 a-side for the Women’s game from 12.

The reduction in player numbers, and aligning the numbers to match the men’s game are recognised as some of the first steps towards a more Olympic-friendly sport for the IOC.

After the opening ceremony in the morning, and a 20-0 victory for USA against hosts Poland in the curtain-raiser, Team GB faced a Japan team completely different from the one appearing in Guildford last week.

After a slow start in which Japan took the lead, Emily Gray created a bit of history to be the first GB player to score in the World Games from a free position.

And after going behind again soon after, England’s Liv Wimpenny, Scotland’s Julia Paterson and Wales’ Iona Dryden, all found the net to begin to assert Team GB dominance at 4-2 at the half.

In a much better second-half, Laura Warren scored twice, Dryden bagged a second and Claire Faram and Sophie Morrill both got on the scoresheet to round off a good start for Team GB.

In fairness to Japan, they were competitive throughout, keeping Emilie Chandler honest in goal for GB as she finished with eight saves for the match.

Their endeavour until the end was rewarded with two goals in the final few minutes but Team GB eased to a 9-5 victory and now face the daunting prospect of World Champions USA tomorrow (9am UK Time) with all their marquee names making the trip to Poland.