U18 Boy's & Girl's National Championship
Date: Sunday 21st April - Saturday 27th April
Venue: Bayswater Lacrosse Club, Halliday Park
Victoria won the U18 Girls & Boys National Championships in Perth! Congratulations to our U18 Girls and U18 Boys teams for playing a great tournament.
Match Reports - U18 Girls Team
From Theo Kwas and Sarah Smith
Today was our first day of the under 18 nationals. The day began with the opening ceremony, with the flags being raised and Jan Jackson declaring the tournament officially open. The Vic girls played their first game against South Australia and in an intense fight beat them 18-6, with goalie Eliza Morgan being awarded MVP.
The Vic girls took on Western Australia today. Victoria ended up on top, with 14-5 victory. It was good to see that the intensity continued to rise throughout the game, which will lift the pace for the rest of the week.
Today we had the privilege of playing New Zealand, who travelled to Perth to gain experience for their under 19 world championship campaign. Victoria came out on top in a 19-3 victory. It was an honour to play against them regardless of the score and we look forward to playing them later on in the week.
Once again, the Vic girls took on South Australia. This time round the game was much closer and much more of a struggle with the half time scores being 5-3, Victoria's way. Putting the first half behind them, the Vic girls came out blazing in the second, finishing with a 12-6 victory. Captain Sarah Smith was awarded MVP. The Vic boys also won a hard fought battle against WA, with goalie Luke Dobson receiving their MVP. Both teams look set for a spot in the grand finals on Saturday.
Day 5 saw the Vics battle Western Australia in a fast paced night game in front of an eager and energetic home side crowd. The girls did well to come out with a 19-6 victory despite the strong support for their opposition. MVP for the day was Theadora Kwas one of the captains for the second time. With only one game left before the Grand Finale the team is in top form and is looking forward to the last two days.
Day 6 was played against New Zealand and the Vics rounded out the normal games for the week with a 14-5 win. Sally Tregear was awarded the team’s MVP. With a definite spot in the Grand Finale against Western Australia, the girls are all extremely excited to get out and play and hopefully bring home a national championship.
Today was the big day that we have been training for the past 10 weeks. The Vic girls fought for a half time score of 6-2 but then ended up with an outstanding final score of 17-4. Captain Sarah Smith was awarded her second MVP netting an amazing 8 goals. The Vic boys fought through a huge game that saw them tied with Western Australia with under a minute to go. With 15 seconds on the clock, Alex pike scored the game winning goal to secure the national championship for the boys. He was fittingly awarded Victoria's MVP. The closing ceremony saw both teams presented with their trophies and medals. The final presentation dinner was held that night and the all-stars teams for both the boys and girls were announced. Today was ultimately the highlight of the whole tournament. It was great to see all the hard work the Vics put in converted into two national championships!
From Andrew Fithall
In the week when the AFL played their first game for premiership points at a venue outside Australia, my daughter Audrey played in her own first international match. Representing Victoria in the under 18 national lacrosse championships in Perth, Audrey played twice against New Zealand. The Kiwis were there as part of their own preliminaries for the 2015 Under 19 world championships to be played in Edinburgh Scotland.
Lacrosse in Australia is a small sport, and this is exemplified in the national championships with only three states represented in each of the boys and girls competitions – Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Despite the small player population, at women’s under 19 world level, Australia is ranked number 2 behind the USA, having narrowly lost the gold medal game against the US in Hanover Germany in 2011. However, with lacrosse currently enjoying the fastest participation growth rate of any sport in the US, bridging that gap is going to be a challenge for Australian teams.
The tournament began on Sunday 21 April with the Victorian girls drawn against South Australia. There was a level of retribution being sought, with a South Australian team having beaten a Victorian team in controversial circumstances in the under 15 tournament last October. The under 15 tournament has multiple teams from the three states, and so is classified as a development tournament rather than as an official national championship. That doesn’t mean the interstate rivalries are any less intense. So at this under 18 tournament, looking for retribution and expecting a close match, Victoria won surprisingly comfortably 18 to 6 while WA defeated NZ. The New Zealand games, while an important experience for all players, were not part of the official tournament.
Day two saw Victoria defeat WA 14 to 5. The wins and margins in the first two games already almost guaranteed Victoria a place in the final. Their opponent would be determined by the SA-WA games. On Wednesday SA defeated WA by one goal while Victoria defeated NZ. All the teams played each other again in the second half of the week with the eventual finalist decided on Friday when the hosts WA defeated SA by 2 goals and progressed to the play-off game by virtue of superior head-to-head goal difference. In the boys’ completion, the finalists were also Western Australia and Victoria.
The girls’ final was a struggle early and the 6 goals to 2 half-time margin signalled a harder-fought match than had been experienced earlier in the week. With two goals each early in the second half, WA were still in touch. However, Victoria scored the last nine goals to win going away 17 to 4.
The boys’ game was a very close affair throughout, with WA leading by a maximum margin of three goals. In the last quarter (yes – the boys do play quarters while the girls play halves) Victoria whittled away at the lead, levelling with about five minutes to play. In the last 30 seconds, Victorian Alex Pike held the ball and ran the clock down awaiting his opportunity. In a flurry of bodies and sticks he goaled with 6 seconds left on the clock. Normally that time would be run down on the play re-start face-off, but in the excitement of the goal celebration, the bench players had run on the field and Victoria was penalised for having too many players on the ground. The goal stood but WA were given possession at the centre. Within the remaining time, WA took the ball to goal and had a shot which was only just kept out by the Victorian goalkeeper. The final minutes of this match can be seen here.
Audrey had a good tournament, and along with four other Victorians, three Western Australians and two South Australians, was named in the All Stars team. A few months ago when the try-outs for this Under 18 Victorian team were conducted, Audrey’s sister Ursula was unwell and unable to try-out. Given they turn 16 later this month, they both have two more years at this level and both can also decide whether they want to put themselves forward as candidates for the Australian under 19 team for 2015. They certainly have my encouragement and support.
We came to lacrosse as a function of geography (we live in Williamstown which is one of the focal points of lacrosse in Victoria) and friends (a family friend Colleen Hunter – nee McVeigh – is a former captain of Australia). I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a sport for their children to play. Sam Pang has been heard to describe netball as “basketball with all the good bits taken out”. Lacrosse is like hockey, but with a lot of good bits thrown in.
||Final: Vic 13 def WA 12
MVPs: Alex Pike (Vic), Benn Game (WA)
|Final: Vic 17 def WA 4
MVPs: Sarah Smith (Vic), Ashtyn Hiron (WA)
||SA 13 def NZ 3
MVPs: Georgie Pollard (SA), Georgie Archer (NZ)
||Wa 15 def SA 5
MVPs: Ashel Tsvigu (WA), Jac Harley (SA)
|Vic 14 def NZ 5
MVPs: Sally Treager (Vic)
||Vic - Bye
||WA 8 def SA 5
MVPs: Tessa Kirby (WA), Ash Behrendt (SA)
||Vic 13 def SA 4
MVPs: Mitch Wilkinson (Vic), Stuart Mortimer (SA)
|Vic 19 def WA 6
MVPs: Theadora Kwas (Vic)
||WA - Bye
||SA 9 def NZ 3
MVPs: Ellie Bishop (SA), Ellen Hackett (NZ)
||Vic 14 def WA 12
MVPs: Luke Dobson (Vic), Cameron McRae (WA)
|Vic 12 def SA 6
MVPs: Sarah Smith (Vic), Sam Marks-Mildren (SA)
||SA - Bye
||WA def NZ
||WA 17 def SA 5
MVPs: Alex Sommerville (WA), Dan Evans (SA)
|Vic 19 def NZ 3
|| Vic - Bye
||SA 12 def WA 11
MVPs: Megan Hay (SA), Ashtyn Hiron (WA)
||Vic 13 def SA 11
MVPs: Sam Anglicas (Vic), Simon Whitehead (SA)
|Vic 14 def WA 5
MVPs: Rachel Ferguson (WA)
||WA - Bye
||SA 18 def NZ 7
MVPs: Hannah Mathwin (SA), Ellen Hackett (NZ)
WA 16 def Vic 13
MVPs: Sean Clarke (Vic), Dein Diver (WA)
|Vic 18 def SA 6
MVPs: Eliza Morgan (Vic), Bianca Mckay (SA)
SA - Bye
|WA 21 def NZ 9
MVPs: Shannon Robinson, Samantha Hyland
Official Tournament Program: download program here
Location: Bayswater Lacrosse Club, Halliday Park, Bayswater, Perth, WA
-31.9169813,115.9111352,12|U18 Boy's & Girl's National Championship|Bayswater Lacrosse Club, Halliday Park, Bayswater, Perth, WA