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1st lacrosse team shows its mettle

The Easter lacrosse season got off to a great start on Saturday, with the Parents and Staff match against the 1st XII.

This is an account of the match from Paula Bridgman Baker (the mother of Sephie).

A few intrepid parents answered Coach Hernadnez’s call to form the backbone of a team to play the 1st XII last Saturday. Some were ex-players, some novices, but all were anxious to enter the fray … provided they didn’t have to run too much. The numbers were more than made up by enthusiastic, and much fitter, staff volunteers. In all, about 17 players were available to share in the fun.

The staff mercifully agreed to play on the wings so that the parents could just hang around the goals. A well-padded Rebecca Goldsworthy lumbered, Yeti like, into goal, and the match began. We soon discovered that our rookie goalie had a secret weapon: a high-pitched yelp obviously calculated to interrupt the aim of the approaching person with the ball. Rob Baird, a parent from a great lax playing family, Sophie being a 4th generation player and the only female, quickly scored. The pressure was kept on the school team by the fast pace and robust tackling of Jeremy, our able French ‘assistant’ truly assisting, the artful Jason Marks. Another notable was Mark Caddy who had the uncanny ability of running to the other end of the pitch with stick outstretched like a frying pan tossing the ball up when tackled and catching it again.

By the end of the first quarter the parents were 2-0 up. The girls, decidedly edgy, huddled together to talk tactics, and when a raucous parental chant ended the rest period they were definitely becoming both embarrassed and concerned. By now though, the school team knew what they were up against. Instead of running with the ball, the 1st XII passed and caught expertly and after some excellent goals, and not a few superb saves from our tuneful goalie, the end of the third quarter they were at a considerable advantage.

The parental team had no option but to try any tactics to save their pride and the match. A little creative mathematics, (8+9 can equal 12 … who could argue with Dr. Caddy on the team??!) and all available parents/staff sneakily took to the field. Calls from the 1st team members to ‘mark-up’ did not seem to have the usual effect. Baffled girls could be spotted counting to 12 again and again (at least they’ve learned something …) Parental confidence returned with the increased numbers and the school goal was under siege. Mark Elliott made his mark. Micah Schwartz powered his way to a couple of stylish goals and Dan Farnfield, appropriately, scored in hockey fashion, sweeping the ball into the net along the ground. At the final whistle, the score was a not so honourable draw, a result which the school team very gamely accepted.

Three cheers were sounded, and we all adjourned to the Pavilion for refreshments, having enjoyed ourselves hugely. This match had been sorely missed in the last couple of years, and all involved owe a big thank you to Coach Hernandez for her efforts, both in umpiring fairly despite her dual loyalty, and in putting the fixture back on the calendar with such resounding success.