ALA U18 National Tournament - Victorian Girls
Victoria beat South Australia 10 - 8 in the Final
Captain Esther Lavelle in action!
Keep up to date with the Victorian U18 Girls progress throughout the tournament by following the team's diary entries.
For updated fixtures and results, follow the official ALA Lax Champs Facebook page here.
For live score updates during games, follow @laxvic on Twitter! Get involved by using #U18lax!
The Tournament Final will be live streamed by the Australian Lacrosse Network. Subscribe to their Youtube page here for more information.
Our tournament began with an eventful airport experience, for one of our own, a young Caulfield defender representing the blue and white, being called over the loudspeaker in the Qantas departures, for she had left her belongings at security (and her boarding pass). After a brief flight, we touched down in Adelaide and quickly arrived at our accommodation for an early night in before the big week to come.
Our first game was against the Presidents Team, made up of a mixture of girls from the three competing states. The Vic girls came out on top, winning 28-0, with a wide range of goal scorers and Sarah Smith taking out MVP for the Big V. After beach recovery, the boys and girls teams headed to a tournament dinner at the grounds, before returning to our cabins to prepare for the big game against our rivals South Australia on Thursday.
- Audrey Fithall
Victoria 18 d ALA Presidents 0
Goals: Audrey Fithall (6), Steph Kelly (6), Sarah Smith (4), Hannah Walker (2), Georgia Meredith (2), Ursula Fithall (2), Emily Prentice (2), Sasha Pollnitz (2), Laura Hulley (1), Olivia Basile (1).
MVP Victoria: Sarah Smith
MVP Presidents: Maggie Monteith
Game 2 proved to be a hard fought battle for the Vic girls, coming up against the reigning champions South Australia. A strong start gave us a 2-0 lead, before the SA girls fought back and lead at half time 6-4. After a nerve wrecking second half, relentless pressure and strong defense, we were able to keep the Reds to just 1 goal in the second half, and win the game 8-7. Goalie Stella Spracken-Hall made a number of crucial saves throughout the game, landing her the MVP medal.
Overall it was a strong effort by all the girls, and after beach recovery (in the rain!) and a relaxing afternoon, we rested and prepared for yet another challenge against Western Australia the following day.
- Audrey Fithall
Victoria 8 d South Australia 7
Goals: A. Fithall (3), U Fithall (3), E. Prentice (1), S. Kelly (1)
MVP: Stella Spracklan-Holl
Goals: A. Mather (4), O. Parker (1), C. Scott (1), B. Richards (1)
MVP: Chelsea GIlbert
Victoria 14 d Western Australia 1
Goals: S. Kelly (4), S.Pollnitz (2), E. Prentice (2), A. Fithall (2), L. Hulley (1), H. Walker (1), O. Basile (1), G. Meredith (1)
MVP: Steph Kelly
Goals: R. Panting (1)
MVP: Dhevan Manu
Victoria 10 d South Australia 8
Goals: S. Kelly (4), H. Walker (4), B. Hogan (1), S. Pollnitz (1)
MVP: Bridget Hogan
Goals: O. Parker (4), B. Richards (2), C. Scott (1), C. Gilbert (1)
The grand final day had arrived, and the Vic undefeated streak was now irrelevant- all that mattered was the final game. Despite the torrential rain and arctic winds, we were all determined to prove how hard we had been working for months, and bring home the championship trophy. That morning, the group walked through some final plays to ensure we were best prepared for the upcoming battle. In the lead up to game time, some girls headed off for a massage, others tried to keep their mind off lacrosse for the time being and control their nerves.
SA came out firing, scoring the first 2 goals of the game. After the nerves began to disappear, the Vic girls fought back to lead at half time 4-3. The final half saw a neck to neck game, as the clock ticked down and Victoria were 3 up with just under six minutes to go, attempting to hold out the ball for the final minutes. SA scored 2 quick goals, as the margin narrowed to just 1 goal. Despite the fatigued and exhausted bodies, the Vic girls scored another goal, and were able to hold the ball out for the final minutes of the game. The final whistle sounded, as the rest of the ecstatic Victorian team to ran onto the field, to all join and celebrate the hard fought win.
Defender Bridget Hogan was awarded with MVP after solid defense and a number of crucial clears throughout the game. After returning to the accommodation, the teams all attended a tournament dinner, where the Victorian boys and girls teams were awarded the championship medals and the trophies. 3 Victorian girls were selected in the All Star Team (Audrey Fithall, Esther Lavelle and Steph Kelly).
Although the girls did not stay up for a late night due to many girls heading home on a very early flight, and others preparing for an Aussie camp the following day, the excitement and buzz remained after winning a National Championship.
- Audrey Fithall