University of Sheffield 1s 21-3 Northumbria University 1s
The University of Sheffield’s Women’s Lacrosse 1s advanced to the semi-finals of the Northern Conference Cup after a 21-3 victory over Northumbria University.
The ‘magic of the cup’ is often talked about within sport, but there was no need for magic at Goodwin, as Sheffield produced another dominant display to secure a place in the last-four of the cup competition and extend their winning run to eight games.
Sheffield were dealt a blow before the game as top scorer Roisin Doyle was ruled out through injury, but this didn’t affect the black and gold of Sheffield, who raced into a 6-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes of the match. Anne-Marie Du Preez led the opening charge, completing her hat-trick in the eighth minute, while Students’ Union Sports Officer Emily Roche scored her third goal with the final action of the first quarter after opening the scoring in the first minute.
Three goals from Du Preez and Roche in addition to a goal from Holly Knowles put the hosts firmly in control after the opening 15 minutes of play. Northumbria did pull a goal back at the beginning of the second quarter, but Du Preez responded with a quick-fire double to give Sheffield a 9-1 lead after 25 minutes. The black and gold lead was cut when the visitors scored their second goal, but Sheffield restored their eight-goal advantage with the final action of the second quarter to give the hosts a 10-2 lead at the halfway stage.
Sheffield added five more goals in the third quarter and looked to be taking a 15-2 lead into the final 15 minutes until Northumbria pulled a goal back in the last minute of the quarter. Aoife Gilchrist restored the hosts’ 13-goal lead from close-range in the opening minutes of the final quarter, before a double from Beth Horn extended Sheffield’s lead even further. The first of Horn’s goals saw Sheffield switch from defence to attack with one pass. Defender Coralie Du Preez passed the ball forward to Horn on the right-wing; Horn picked the ball up, before advancing towards the net and scoring.
In a game that saw the hosts find the back of the net 21 times, it seemed Sheffield had saved the best to last. Captain Naomi Shaw drove with the ball, before firing past the Northumbria goalkeeper from distance. Emily Roche rounded-off the victory with two superb individual goals. Sheffield will play either Manchester Met 1s or Manchester 2s in the semi-finals on Wednesday 1 March. Both teams play in the Northern 2A league – one league above Sheffield – so it will be a tough test for the girls who hope to reach the final of the cup competition.
Before they play their semi-final, their attentions switch back to a busy week in the league. Sheffield travel to league leaders Leeds Beckett on Tuesday afternoon, before Northumbria return to Goodwin on Wednesday. A win on Tuesday will see Sheffield move level on points with Leeds Beckett at the top of the table.
Captain Naomi Shaw told Forge Sport: “We obviously missed Roisin Doyle, but it was nice to give everyone else an opportunity because she is such a strong player. We work well as a team, but it was nice to see some of the newer players get an opportunity to score goals to boost their confidence ahead of an important few weeks.”
Commenting on the match against Beckett next week, Shaw added: “It’s going to be massive and we have been hearing that Hallam have been thrashed two weeks on the trot by them so we are really going to put the work in in training, build on quite a few things we were trying out in the game today, but it is a massive game for us and one I hope we win.”