ALA U18 Nationals Day 2 Wrap Up

ALA U18 Nationals, Day 2 action - WA vs. VIC
ALA U18 Nationals, Day 2 action - WA vs. VIC
Image © Lachlan Williams  
 
ALA U18 National Championships, Day 2 action - SA vs. NZ
ALA U18 National Championships, Day 2 action - SA vs. NZ
Image © Lachlan Williams  
 

The second day of the Under 18 National Championships saw four highly competitive games played, providing fans with an exciting day of lacrosse action. Victoria took on Western Australia in both the boys and the girls, while South Australia played New Zealand similarly.

The first two games for the day were Victoria vs. WA (boys) and SA vs. NZ (girls), which occurred concurrently. The boys game drew plenty of speculation beforehand regarding the result, following last year's narrow 1-goal championship victory to Victoria over Western Australia. Victoria entered the game with a smaller squad than the day before, with Peter Kwas out with illness, and Joel Adams and Joel Pante under injury clouds.

Early goals to WA and sloppy skill errors from Victoria took the Westerners into the quarter time break with a 2-1 lead. WA piled on the pressure following the break, placing enormous strain on the Victorian long poles clearing the ball, forcing turnovers resulting in goals. Two goals to Connor Davies and Brayden Panting's third for the match put WA ahead with a commanding 7-3 lead at the main break.

Victoria managed to stem the flow of WA pressure in the third term, but could only claw one goal back, down 10-7 at three quarter time. In a quarter to be remembered, Victoria slammed home five goals to one in the final quarter, including three from captain Angus Thompson-Pritchard, to win 12-11.

Victoria's come from behind win surprised coach Stephen Weissbacher, who thought that his team "wouldn't be in that position". "I think we're a much better team than what we displayed today, and I thought we would win by five or six to be honest."

"We have a very balanced team, and I hope that the next time we play it is more one sided," he said. Victoria will play either SA or WA in Monday's final, depending on who wins the head to head clash tomorrow.

In the girls game being played at the same time, SA came up against a dangerous NZ outfit, desperate for their first win. However, SA stamped their authority as the tournament favourites with a dominant 7-1 first half, including two goals to Eleanor Bishop and Briana Richards. NZ fought back from the big half time deficit, scoring 8 second half goals, but it was too little too late, SA securing a grand final berth with a 14-9 win.

Following these games were the reverse fixtures of the early games.

The SA boys took on NZ, with both teams needing to prove themselves after heavy first day losses.
Many suspected it would be a pushover game for SA, but NZ weren't so keen to throw in the towel.
After SA went a few goals up early, NZ managed to hang on, maintaining the deficit at three goals for most of the first half and third quarter, the scores 10-7 at three quarter time. However, a more experienced South Australian unit took advantage of the tired New Zealander's, romping home with a nine goal to none last quarter, finishing with a 19 -7 victory.

In the girls game played concurrently with that clash, Victoria set out to make amends for their poor performance against SA yesterday. Early on, it looked like this would be the case, with Rebecca Lane bagging a double before half time, taking a 6-3 lead into the main break.

But things turned sour for the Vic's deep into the second half, with the scores becoming locked at 9 all after a courageous comeback from the Western Australian's.

The Vic's managed to gather their composure back and secure a 12-9 win, keeping their finals hopes alive. Victoria coach Sarah Mollison she thought her team played "a good all round game".
"It was pleasing to see a massive improvement from our disappointing loss against South Australia yesterday, and it was good to see a good team effort."

"We just need to clean up a few things for tomorrow's game," she said. Victoria need to beat New Zealand tomorrow to have a chance of making it into the final on Monday.

FINAL SCORES - Day 2

Boys
Vic 12 def. WA 11.
SA 19 def. NZ 7.
Girls
SA 14 def. NZ 9
Vic 12 def. WA 9.

 

Article Credit: Lachlan Williams, Lacrosse Victoria

 

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