The third game day in the Irish Women’s Lacrosse League was held in Galway on the 28th February. Similar to the other game days, there were five matches played on the day with each team playing at least two matches. This was the Avengers’ second game day to only play two matches – the first match against UCD White and the second against Galway.
Dublin Avengers V UCD White
As always, this was a great match for watching how much UCD White have improved over the year. However, they were no match for the “veteran” Dublin team who started the match pumped up from their pregame dancing. Dublin controlled the draw and maintained possession for the majority of the game making fantastic plays, shots, passes, and goals. While the Avengers dominated the game from the outset, the UCD White players kept up their fight and kept moving until the end of the game.
Two players on the team deserve special mentions from this game. Firstly, Pamela for braving the cage for the match having only had one training session in goals. She wasn’t afraid to admit her fear but did it anyway. She made some impressive saves and EVEN managed to stay facing the shots.
Secondly, Amy Clarkin for her fantastic return to lacrosse. Amy has previously played in goals for years but due to injuries has had to retire from the cage. To the disappointment of several team mates, Amy provided no entertainment in her move from cage to field as she was a great addition to the attack! She even scored a goal from her first shot which even received cheers from the UCD players!
Defence was fantastic as always and managed to ensure UCD White didn’t score any goals. Emma Whelan from UCD White managed to speed past the defence and score a goal, but thankfully didn’t manage to slow down so ran into the crease and therefore had her goal disallowed. Dublin goals were scored by Kate Gaitley (3), Beata Juchniewicz (2), Evanna Murphy (2), Amy Clarkin (1), Anna Bischoff (1), Aedeen Mageean (1), and Aisling Casey (1).
This game was one of the best we’ve had for playing as a team. The quick passing and field vision was great from everyone. We worked really well together and it was fun to play against UCD White and see how much they have improved since the beginning of the year.
Dublin Avengers V Galway
The pressure was on Dublin to perform against Galway. With a history of one loss and one draw Dublin felt it time to even out the board. Galway were hampered with missing a few key players, notably Lindsay wasn’t there from a draw control perspective. Well done to Aedeen for putting her stamp on the draw and to Kate for being available for the quick pass, every time. Anna was also great on the draw.
Becky was kind enough to step in to play cage for Dublin (Pamela was definitely relieved). At half time the score read 7-2 with Dublin putting a further 7 away before the end of the game. Anna had a few fast breaks that ended up in great goals. Dublin gelled well as a team for this match and had good double teaming. Everyone put in great effort and we dominated the draws and ground balls. Susan showed continued strength in defence through great calls with marking and getting in front of players.
Goals were scored by Evanna Murphy (4), Anna Bischoff (3), Beata Juchniewicz (3), Aedeen Mageean (2), Erin Woods (1), and Aoife Ferguson (1).
As always this match was filled with intensity combined with great sportsmanship. These two teams always play great against each other. While everyone was happy that we won the match, what’s more important is how much fun we had playing (and winning) the game. We play our best when we are in good moods and the pregame dancing certainly had everyone in good form for the match.
Player of the Game Day
The player of the game day, as always, was voted by her teammates. This game day saw the closest vote with seven players in the running to win. This highlights that the team is not dependent on a few strong players, but made up of a strong team of talented players. The winner of this Game Day is…. Anna Bischoff! Anna has been playing with the Dublin team for several years and will make her debut for the Irish National Team in the European Championships this August. While Anna is very skilled on an individual level, she is also very much a team player and throughout the games kept everyone motivated and assisted with several goals. Here are some of the comments her team mates had to say:
Anna was very good at controlling the ball and getting it back to the offensive end
She made some fantastic draws, goals, and passes. She didn’t stop moving and was constantly looking how to make a play or pass.
Anna made a huge impact in midfield both on the draw and around the goal!
Overall, this was a great day for the Dublin Avengers putting 8 points on the board and ensuring neither UCD White nor Galway managed to earn the bonus point. As well as results, there was a great team atmosphere both on and off the pitch. We relaxed and had fun on the pitch which in turn had a huge impact on the standard of play. The main downside of the game day, as usual, was the weather! However, highs of 14 degrees are forecast for Saturday so we may be finally in for some sunshine for our next matches!