TDAS Blog: Day 9
Its Wednesday, middle of the week and we are almost at finals time, the England Men are playing in the quarter-final while the England Women will be finishing of group play leading the pack. Amazingly, we had no rain today, it was sunny and muggy, hopefully the weather stays nice leading into the weekend.
Team England Women started the day with their fixture against Austria, knowing that they would finish top of the group unless they were to lose by something like fifty goals. With this in mind the the players had a number of conditions to meet, including working on both hands and improving communication across the field as well as trying to keep a clean sheet.
However, the combination of five games in five days as well as the restrictions really tested the team and the skill levels which we had seen in the previous matches was just not the same. This was evident with Austria having the first real threat at goal, saved by Cat Gaunt. It took over six minutes for England to get the scoring going, Torz Anderson netting after a couple of attempts.
The next two goals came quickly from Bennett and Brett, however there were long gaps between the next two goals, something we have not seen from England all tournament. Two defenders (Featherstone and Hayes) rounded up the scoring before the half-time break to take England into a five goal advantage.
The second half proved to be very similar to the first, with a ten minute gap of no goals, followed by three quick goals. The Austrians managed to squeeze one in before England finished the scoring with a goal from Leah Templeman.
In what was not the greatest of games for the team, the still managed to restrict the Austrian opposition to five shots all game. So although it was not a clean sheet game, what it does show is that there are still improvements to be made during the tournament and the girls have to stay focused on the goal.
It was then the turn of the Men to play their quarter-final game against Finland, a team they had met in group stage play, a fixture they won 18-2. Finland are a feisty team and never give up, so even with a previous win the boys knew they had to play. Having had a days rest for finishing top if the group, fresh legs were the order of the day as Coach Bagley used the full squad for the game.
The Finns came out firing and had the first real attacking possession of the game, but to no avail, however when England pushed the ball to Nick Watson behind goal, he split dodged his defender and beat the goalie for England’s first goal. Watson would add another before defender Ryan Myerberg put England 3-0 up with a breakout run from his defensive half. Watson would get his hat-trick along with a Sam Russell goal before the end of the quarter.
The second quarter was a little more even on the scoreline, however England did control the possession. Highlight of the quarter for the team was Joe Singleton’s first goal of the tournament with a right hand rocket, taking England to an 8-3 lead for the half-time break.
A confident second half for the team included two goals from Oliver White, and a single from Sam Russell and Tom Gosney. Andrew Baxter manged to get on the scoreboard from a loose ball while England where defending to run it up and score. The England defenders have been encouraged by Coach Cugno to attack at every opportunity, something which they have relished.
England were more disciplined in this game, an area where they still recognise that needs improving, especially as the opposition will be looking at taking advantage of these uneven situations.
The quest for gold is still on track for both teams. The men will be meeting the Netherlands in the semi final after a day off, while the women go straight into a quarter final fixture against Sweden.
TDAS Fact: There are 18 Lacrosse clubs playing in the Netherlands lacrosse Board League competition. Current Champions are Amsterdam Lions (men) and Groningen Galaxies (women).