Lacrosse 2nds Win National Schools U19B Tournament

Saya Taneja gives a run down of the matches that led to victory

The annual National Schools Lacrosse tournament is truly the pinnacle of the lacrosse season and is, for many, the motivation behind all the early morning Saturday matches and before school fitness sessions. So when it finally rolls around, we were all raring to go, with the added excitement of an overnight stay in the exotic landscape of Guildford.

The Senior 2nds lacrosse team sailed through the first day, beating some big names in our pool, including long-time rivals Lady Eleanor Holles, a particular point of pride for the first day. This placed us at the top of our pool and in good stead for our second day matches.

Saturday morning posed more of a challenge, coming up against Guildford High School, who were eager to retain their title from last year. Our close 2-3 loss placed us second in our pool, ahead of Putney High and St Swithun’s. Then came the most important games of the tournament as we advanced to the knockout stages. Sore muscles certainly did not stop us inflicting decisive defeats over Downe House (3-1), Wycombe Abbey (3-1) and Benenden School (4-1).

We found ourselves once again pitted against Guildford High School in the final of the tournament, having closely lost to them barely six hours earlier. Both teams fought hard, with our goal keeper, Alexa Stanger, saving uncountable shots and changing the momentum of the game on numerous occasions. With barely three minutes to play, neither side had scored until Kristin Ellingsen scored the final and deciding goal of the tournament, securing St Paul’s the title of Nationals Champions.

Having grown massively as a team since the beginning of the season and with a season goal difference of +54, we knew the National title was within our sights, but it was still an incredible shock and honour to have St Paul’s engraved next to lacrosse heavyweights like Guildford High on our trophy.

Saya Taneja VII