The Dublin Avengers Ladies team have returned from their trip to Ghent for the Ken Galluccio Cup. The KGC saw the top clubs from European lacrosse leagues competing to be the best club in Europe. The DALC Ladies just missed out on a top ten spot finishing in 11th place. Overall it was a great trip and provided the women with new skills to bring into the 2014-15 season. The KGC was a brilliant tournament organised by Ghent Lacrosse who were the friendliest lacrosse team ever 🙂
Continue reading for more details on the trip.
The Women’s team arrived into Belgium at various times throughout the day on Friday. Nora was the first to arrive and be reunited with the women after moving back to her homeland of Germany last season. Amy Clarkin was next to arrive having come on the afternoon flight to Brussels. Anna brought Rebecca on a night tour of Belgium, instead of the direct route to Ghent, and so they arrived at the hotel in the middle of the night.
The players that arrived early on Friday morning spent the day exploring. Ghent is one of the most beautiful places in the world with old cathedrals and castles on every street. The team tried “The Nose of Ghent” which according to the street vendor is a local speciality. They looked more like soap than sweets. This was followed by a team dinner at Ellis Gourmet Burger and more exploring. After visiting Sint-Baafs Cathedral the women returned to the hotel to prepare for a training session.
Unfortunately, the Avengers learned that time keeping is not a skill that is strong in the team. Training was scrapped and replaced with waffles at the canal. Carb-loading is important before an intense day of lacrosse so it seemed like a wise substitution. The Festival of Ghent began on Saturday so on the Friday evening the women were able to watch the stage in the water being set up. Everyone headed back to the monastery to get an early night before the matches.
On the Saturday evening after the matches both of the Avengers teams headed into the city to watch the fireworks display. Being Irish, everyone quickly located the closest Irish bar and settled in to watch the festivities. When the fireworks were finished the teams stayed on in the bar. This may not have been the wisest decision as the men’s team failed to wake up on time for their 9am match on the Sunday morning.
A frantic wake up and rush in the morning led to them running straight from the taxis onto the pitch for their match. They won the match so perhaps it was a well thought out plan all along. The tactic didn’t work too well for the Women; it was pointed out by the Swedish team after they won that they “could smell [we] had a good night” – Friendly banter or just plain racism?
On Sunday after the matches several players headed down to the lake for a cool down. It seemed a cool down was necessary for some players who may have been affected by the heat and had started to confuse sheep with cows and the sun with the moon. Both teams then returned to the pitches for the closing ceremony before heading back to the airport and home to Ireland.
All the DALC women played very well, especially when the heat and lack of substitutes was taken into consideration. The results do not reflect the standard shown by the women in their four matches at all. All the players improved their skills and found areas to work on for the upcoming season and for National Team trials at the end of October. Anna was the top scorer bringing in 3 goals over the weekend, with Billy following closely with 2. Aisling, Olly and Nadine all also contributed a goal each.
The style of refereeing proved to be an issue for the Women who are not used to such strict calls. The weekend saw several yellow cards for the women including cards for players who had never received cards before. The women also developed new habits on the pitch of standing on, tripping the opposition into, and lying down inside the crease. Collectively the team has agreed that an international tournament is not a time to test out tactics like this.
Due to the team having no substitutes, everyone had the opportunity to try out new positions. The DALC Ladies are predominately offensive players so everyone developed a new understanding of how defensive plays work and improved their defensive skills.
Aisling noticed Nadine‘s defensive skills in a training session prior to Belgium and insisted she move from her comfort zone as an attacker and try defending during the match against the Ghent Gazelles. Nadine did not approve of this change and within one minute of returning to the attacking side scored a goal to prove that attack is where she belongs. Amy Cooke also found a new position as a low defender for the defence-stacked draws. She developed her cradle with her new stick which allowed further runs (with encouraging screams from the settled defence).
Niamh and Rebecca were responsible for the defensive end as the only set defenders on the team. Their different defensive styles allowed everyone to learn different methods and skills. Niamh used her Ninja tactics to magically appear and cut off the offence in silence; while in contrast Rebecca used her height and noise to intimidate the opposition. Rebecca also decided to use the matches as an opportunity to demonstrate all the fouls that can be committed in and around the fan. She was so dedicated to educating the defenders that she even sacrificed two minutes playing to demonstrate a major foul. Thanks for taking one for the team 🙂
Amy and Becky took turns in goals playing half a match each on the Saturday. Both goalies played very well and helped to control the plays around the defence. Unfortunately, Becky was feeling unwell on the Sunday so was unable to play. Surprisingly, it worked out for the team to only bring a goalie sub and no field subs! Sadly both Amy and Becky returned to Ireland feeling unwell from the weekend and so we wish them both a speedy recovery 🙂
Fastest Shot Competition
Aisling also participated in the Fastest Shot competition on the Saturday afternoon. The main fear for the competition was to miss the goal. However, after the men’s representative in the competition only got one of the three shots on target, the pressure for Aisling was greatly reduced. She managed then to score all three goals and improve her speed each time up to 73km/hour on her final shot. The winner, from the Oxton team, reached a speed of 101km/hour.
The table below shows the results from the four matches the DALC Women competed in. Due to the Latvian team dropping out at short notice, the women only played four matches as opposed to the five matched played by the teams placing 8th and above.
Click here for the full table of results for all teams.
[tb_results limit=”0″ comp=”37″ season=”30″ club=”297″ venue=”38″ linktext=”View all results” title=”Dublin Avengers KGC14 Results”]