Men's Lacrosse: Blues men defeat top Slovenian side

23 October 2008

Cambridge 11

Ljubljana Dragons 3

In its first international match in two seasons, Cambridge Lacrosse not only hosted the Ljubljana Dragons—Slovenia’s top lacrosse team—on Saturday, they sent them packing with a thumping 11-3 defeat.

The victory leaves the Blues undefeated this season and more importantly, the team is establishing itself as a formidable contender in southern lacrosse. In addition to a strong defence, the Blues found their offensive stride yesterday, distributing 11 goals among 6 different players.

The match started badly with a score from Slovenia’s captain, Steve Fish, a former UK premiership lacrosse player. Several minutes later, Cambridge’s Todd Nichols gave Cambridge the initiative though with two quick goals. The Blues maintained control from thereon in.

In the second quarter, a momentary lapse by the usually unflappable goalkeeper Sam Spurrell, saw the Dragons pull one back. Any hopes of a Slovenian revival were short-lived though as down at the other end Nichols added his third goal of the day while the two co-captains, Ralby and midfielder Phil Hall both scored. The third quarter proved to be Cambridge’s best quarter of the season, with goals coming from attackman Edward Cassels and midfielder Jeremy McCarron, as well as two more from Ralby. Blues debutant Ryan Flynn then went on to score in the final quarter after a mere consolation from the Dragons

Statistically, the Blues contributed to the match all over the field. Ross Johnstone, in his first appearance with the team, started the match in goal and kept the Slovenians to one goal in the first quarter. Spurrell only let in 2 shots out of 10, notwithstanding the error on the clear in the third quarter. Additionally, defender Alex Slinger in his second appearance for Cambridge blocked a shot at point blank range. Cambridge dominated in the battle for ground balls, picking up 28 compared to Ljubljana’s 8. With some tough face-offs from Hall and fellow midfielder Oscar Bennett, Cambridge managed to win half of the faces against a seasoned veteran and face-off specialist from Slovenia. On offense, Nichol contributed two assists in addition to his three goals and Ralby, Hall, Flynn and midfielder Andrew Muir Wood had one assist each. Player of the match went to Ralby, on account of his 4 goals, 1 assist and team-high 8 ground balls.

This weekend the Blues head to Cardiff, Wales for the South England Flags Competition. They will resume normal league play at home on November 1 against Hitchin A.