England U19 USA Tour Blog
Today we all met at Heathrow Terminal 5, for our 7 hour flight to Philadelphia, USA. We said our goodbyes and the excitement of going to America began, as a mass of England kitted girls checked in. We numbered off and through the security we went. After some food and shopping we re-grouped, before making our way to our gate, where we were devastated to witness Federer lose his place in the Wimbledon final. We then took buses to the plane where we boarded, ready for departure. After a slight delay we finally took off. TVs were packed full of loads of new release films, we were fed, a little sleep and soon enough we started out decent into Philadelphia. Greeted by Zag sports and Hannah Thurston, who was already out here attending lacrosse camps, we then headed to West Chester University Halls. Once checked in it was straight to bed, to be ready and raring to go for our first tournament day tomorrow! Here we go England!
After an early start, due to our jet lag, we headed to breakfast to fuel ourselves for a day full of matches. We excitedly set off to the pitches where we began a long warm up, to prepare our bodies following the long flight. The A team were first up, and after a photo with our younger fans, we had our team talk before getting on the pitch to start our first game. We won convincingly 13-4. The B team then headed over to warm up for there first match, which disappointingly was cancelled due to thunder and lightening. Sadly their second match was also cancelled for the same reason. The team handled this disappointment amazingly and with fantastic spirit and then continued to provide fantastic support for the As in their later game. The sun came out, and after another good warm up, we went on to continue our winning streak, winning 13-3. We returned back to the university accommodation for dinner and chocolate milk, before a team talk and an early night in preparation for day 2 of tournament play.
The B team had a very early start due to the thunderstorm the day before, which meant all our were to be played in one day. After the rapid countdown throughout breakfast when bagels were made and wrapped to take with us, we set off for our long day ahead. In our first match we gave the Americans a good game, but we unfortunately came away without a win. The second and third games were tight. Both attack and defence units significantly improved. Nevertheless, the opposition were too strong. After a break for some food and relocating to a new area we were all ready and pumped for our last match. We went in with great determination and a desire to finish with our best performance of the day. The game was fast and the opposition were tough, and even though we did not win we played some good lacrosse and learnt new concepts. Our positive team spirit throughout the day was something we were proud of.
With the A team having had a successful start to the tournament on Saturday, we woke up full of excitement and ready for another day of tough matches. After a chilled morning at the accommodation we set off for the pitches, where we played our first game in the early afternoon. This was our toughest match yet, but the team worked cohesively and fought hard for a good win – meaning we topped our group. This sent us through to the semifinals, and after a team lunch of huge sandwiches and bananas we were ready to go again. Another great performance from the whole team meant we secured a victory and were through to the final! With only a couple of minutes before the final we took on board lots of fluid and after a group huddle we stepped out onto the pitch. We got off to a great start, controlling the draws and scoring some lovely team goals. We continued working hard as a team to end the game with a 13-1 victory and become champions! This gave us a great feeling of pride and was a fantastic way to start off the tour.