England took their chance yesterday in the quarter-finals versus Switzerland, to march on to a semi-final tie with Finland.
The game started slowly for England, with Switzerland working hard to keep the score level at the first quarter, but a good run of goals in the second had England leading by 3 at half-time.
Coach Tom Wenham was pleased with the way England raised it, saying: “We had a strong period in the second quarter where we scored a few goals in quick succession and our defence were really strong after that.”
There can be no doubt as to that defensive strength, seeing England concede only one goal in the second half of lacrosse as they pushed the score higher and higher. In the third quarter Pete Hayes and Zac Guy each found the net, before the flood gates opened in the fourth for England to take the last quarter 5-0.
By the time the final whistle went, it was another strong England score of 12-3.
After the game, coach Wenham was full of praise for England’s opposition:
“Switzerland have to be one of the fastest improving teams in world lacrosse. They had a very clear game plan, executed it really well and played to their strengths throughout.”
He went on to add: “We still feel like we’re yet to click for a full 80 minutes and know that we have more to give.”
Up next for England will be a strong looking Finland team, who managed to outlast Scotland in their quarter-final after a lengthy stint of extra time. The Finns have looked deadly on occasion in the tournament, boasting players with experience in the Jr A league of Canada plus NYIT alumni and Division 2 National Champion Pentti Pekkonen to provide experience.
Wenham’s team remain focused, however as they look forward:
“We’re confident of showing this [clicking for 80 minutes] against Finland and we’ll need to. We watched their game against Scotland and were really impressed. They’re a solid team and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them.”
The semi-final will take place on Thursday 4 August at 1.30pm BST, with a place in the final at stake on Saturday.