Impact’s Gabriella has bravely joined the Lacrosse club this year. Here is the first instalment of her experiences…
Coming back to Nottingham for my final year made me realise that I had done nothing sporty for the past two years, which encouraged my decision to go along to a taster session of Lacrosse. Like a lot of you, I never knew what Lacrosse entailed until I watched ‘Wild Child’ – it didn’t help that I expected a ritual dance before a match and, from playing hockey, I constantly wanted to run with the stick on the ground. Either way, £30, a weekly Thursday night training session pencilled into my diary, Crisis socials and a tournament later, I’m officially part of a sports team: a Lax gal (which was an abbreviation I never understood until recently)…
On Sunday, the developmental team plucked up the courage to play in the first tournament against Nottingham Trent, Sheffield Hallam and Leeds. You can imagine our anxiety when the training sessions consisted of being told how to hold the ‘stick with a net at the end’ and catching the ball was a celebratory moment: we were definitely being thrown into the deep end. Half of us didn’t even understand the rules – terms like ‘pizza circle’ and being told to stand still when the whistle blows flew straight over our heads (like the ball on many occasions). Easy to say it was an interesting match, but everyone played extremely well, especially in the freezing conditions.
Half of us didn’t even understand the rules – terms like ‘pizza circle’ and being told to stand still when the whistle blows flew straight over our heads
Initially, due to a keen turn out, we were split into two random teams and within that, three were attackers, five were mid-fielders, three were defenders – beforehand I couldn’t have told you how many played in a match – and one brave goalie in a hell of a lot of padding.
The wait was over: we put in our mouth guards, threw on the boys smelly lacrosse shirts and eyed up our components – I felt like the Star Wars theme tune should have been playing in slow-motion. One minute we were practising throwing and the next we were standing in what was apparently the correct format, looking at each other with dread and confusion. Then the whistle blew.
Each half was ten minutes long and unfortunately, in the first match, we lost 1-0 to Trent. Nothing dampened our excitement though as we ran around like headless chickens trying to ‘clip’ the other teams stick and touch the ball – we weren’t even disheartened by the umpire’s constant whistle as she tried to organise everyone’s positions and whereabouts.
We cheered, sprinted, dodged the odd stick-to-eye and by the end of the day, after a lot of determination, sweat and balls, both teams sadly lost (all) their matches, putting us fourth in the tournament. The final scores were 3-0, 5-0 and 2-1 – yes there is one goal there! The developmental team have had a taste of a real Lax match and as they say, onwards and upwards. I look forward to the next chance to show off our ever-growing skills.
Images courtesy of UoN Ladies Lax