England Lacrosse 22 vs Western Australia 4
We woke up to blue skies and a sunny morning in Melbourne for the first time since arriving and after a lie in we were all feeling refreshed and ready to play.
After an energetic warm up the game began with a draw control from Claire Faram who stormed up the pitch to assist Merrifield for the first goal of the game in 16 seconds! WA won the next draw but after a great save and incredible half pitch clear by Grant, England got the ball back into their attack which culminated in a quick Katie Lehovsky goal.
WA were quick to turn up the pressure creating a turnover in midfield and converting this opportunity into a goal. WA were fired up now and gained possession at the next draw, however, England’s Sophie Brett and Katie Armstrong stood their ground in the England re-defend to cause a turnover and take the ball up into the attacking end. After a great save by the WA keeper and long clear, another period of fantastic re-defending by England, notably Brett and Niven, caused yet another turnover resulting in a Whittle goal, assisted by Simpson.
WA’s keeper continued to make some great saves in goal and clearing the ball out to her team but once again England’s re-defend worked a treat and Lafferty made a well-timed interception to turn the ball over once more before moving the ball to Brett who scored. Seconds later Whittle gained possession at the draw and kickstarted the England slow break, resulting in a goal from Whittle; other goals in the half came from Brett (2), Lynch and Finnigan.
WA did not let up and continued to pressure hard in defence creating turnovers and chances in their attacking end – a fast midfield transition helped add another goal to their tally and they continued to build upon their momentum scoring a second goal unanswered by England.
The first half finished with a well-worked England goal in which Lynch assisted Saunders and seconds before the buzzer, Lehovsky added another to the tally.
The second half was no different for England as they were dominant from the off with a Niven draw control and Whittle goal. WA started to find their stride once again, turning over the ball in midfield and creating shooting opportunities in their attack. McNab made a series of great saves in goal and after a fantastic clear, England transitioned the ball into attack for a Simpson goal, with Ruby Smith adding another shortly after.
The draws were feisty but England dug deep to come up with the majority and move the ball into attack. The WA keeper made yet more great saves and cleared the ball out to her team, however she could not stop England’s flurry of goals from Whittle, Merrifield (ass. Simpson), Finnigan and Lehovsky.
The game culminated in some incredible pressure from Claire Faram in the ride, with a well-timed check causing a quick turnover for England resulting in even more attacking opportunities. In the final seconds of the game, Lafferty intercepted a WA transition once more to storm up the pitch before Finnigan assisted Brett; a final free position goal from Lafferty completed England’s scoring and the game ended 22-4 in favour of England.
This was a magnificent team performance from all players and we can’t wait to get back on the pitch tomorrow to play South Australia. Special mentions must go to Sophie Brett, who scored 5 goals from 5 shots, and to Lucy Lynch for winning England’s MVP for scoring amazing goals, creating several turnovers and for strong 1 on 1 defence.
Team England squad vs Western Australia