UEA women’s Lacrosse kept up their successful Derby Day run with a 15-4 win. The goals were shared around UEA’s forwards with Fiona Smith netting four, hat-tricks for Phoebe Hartz and Olivia Stock, two apiece from Emily Winter and Carsen Lennon, with Tilly Pembroke also getting on the scoresheet.
In fact, it was a much more comfortable win than expected against an Essex side who finished well in their BUCS league and seemed to have improved from previous Derby Days.
Hartz calmed UEA nerves with an early goal, however after a spell of pressure Essex equalised. UEA were soon dominating, however. Cat Stallard hit the goalkeeper’s helmet before Hartz netted her second to restore the lead. Smith then made it 3-1 before a superb long run and shot from Lennon made it four for UEA.
Hartz then sealed her hat-trick after a superb run from the restrainer to make it 5-1 by the end of the first quarter.
UEA were having fun by the second period, with Winter scoring for 6-1 before Essex pulled another back. Hartz expertly dodged several players, setting up Pembroke who shot just wide, but it was not long until Winter netted another, quickly followed by an Essex reply for 7-3.
Smith was denied twice in quick succession by Essex’s goalkeeper who can be proud of her performance keeping the score down. First a double roll dodge from Smith set her up for a shot before she was fed close-in after good work from Winter in midfield, but Smith couldn’t beat the Essex stopper on either occasion.
Stock kept the flow of goals coming for 8-3, before 2s stars Octavia Pither and Michelle Ward linked up well to assist Smith to make it 9-3.
Defender Kiki Abay was a key player for UEA, both starting attacks and in defence. She set up Stock who had a great attempt saved before being back in the thick of the defensive effort in the next passage of play, with her opponent losing a boot for her efforts.
Smith then hit a rasping shot for her hat-trick and 10-3, before Stock was relieved to score a second for 11-3 in a game when the livewire forward never seemed to stop finding good positions and deserved several more than she got.
Pither was owning the right flank, with the 2s’ top scorer creating chances and causing the Essex defence all sorts of problems of her own.
UEA went into the half-time break 11-3 up, with Stock making it twelve as she netted her hat-trick. A good run from Lennon set up Winter, but despite having the ball in the net an offside was called and Winter was denied a hat-trick which would have been more than deserved as the midfielder classily dictated proceedings in her final game for UEA.
Another tricky run from Lennon saw her fashion a shot for herself, which she converted for 13-3. Jemima Rohde, who took over from skipper Georgie Sutton in goal for this quarter, made several excellent stops to keep Essex out.
Pembroke got in on the scoring before the end of the quarter. Lottie Payne produced a lovely run which left an Essex defender on the floor, providing a perfectly weighted assist to set up vice-captain Pembroke. Payne had a superb game for UEA in possession and deserves far more credit for her efforts than the scoresheet suggests.
Essex scored a consolation before the break to leave the score at 14-4.
In the final quarter the goalscoring dried up a little, but UEA maintained their dominance. Smith rattled the post with a shot on the run, before drawing a foul from which UEA had another chance. Lennon forced a great save from the Essex goalkeeper’s feet before Smith netted the final goal of the game.
Smith drew another save and Hartz put a shot just wide, before last year’s captain was forced off with a nose injury after being hit in the face – Hartz was nonetheless ok, despite sustaining a nasty cut.
Lennon shot wide and almost found Smith with a perceptive through-ball, before UEA’s defence did well to stop an Essex counter-attack in the final seconds. However, there were to be no more goals as the match ended 15-4 to UEA, and women’s Lacrosse won their ninth consecutive Derby Day.
It caps a good season for UEA’s women in which the firsts reached the semi-finals of the BUCS Midlands Conference Cup for the first time and came fifth in the BUCS National 8s Trophy.
Captain Sutton said she felt “relieved” afterwards.
She continued: “It’s a really nice way to end both my captaincy and my time at the club. It was most of the squad’s last game for UEA. I’m really happy with my team’s performance.”
UEA: Georgie Sutton (c), Jemima Rohde, Ellie Lynch, Kiki Abay, Alex Sturdy, Rosie Lawrence, Emma Crawford, Carsen Lennon, Emily Winter, Cat Stallard, Michelle Ward, Adela Milà-de-Puri, Lottie Payne, Phoebe Hartz, Tilly Pembroke, Fiona Smith, Octavia Pither, Olivia Stock.