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Spartans stick it to the Brits
Bainbridge girls take two in friendly face-off with Royal School.
In a rare cross-pond match the Bainbridge and Kitsap girls lacrosse teams challenged Englands Royal School of Surrey.
The two day face-off reunited Bainbridges state champion team in a cultural and physical match against one of Englands predominant lacrosse schools.
Its really nice to see some competition that we havent seen since the season, said Bainbridges Alex Winnicki. Its refreshing to be back together because were such a close team.
Kitsaps lacrosse team mustered enough players to make the game despite summer-time vacationers. Last years Kitsap team lost to Bellevue in the Division B State Championship.
Both Bainbridge and Kitsap proved to be formidable opponents for their international rivals.
Weve won a few games since weve been in the States, said Royal Schools Emma Gable. But we were very nervous about playing Bainbridge.
That nervousness became nerve-wracking as Bainbridge won their first game against Englands A team, 16-1, on Monday, and returned on Tuesday to best the B team, 11-2.
Bainbridge took advantage of the Royal Schools strict positional defense in Tuesdays game. Their inability to slide defensively allowed for Bainbridges senior captain Kathryn Bachen to score four times in the second half. All-American Emily Robinson also weaved through the British defenses to score twice.
This second game has been a lot more challenging than the last, Robinson said. But, we are still feeling a little out of shape.
The English are a bit more of a physical team because they play an international rule, which has a lot more contact than the American rule, said Bainbridge coach Tami Tommila. It was fun and a good opportunity for our girls.
Kitsap won their first game on Monday but were bested on Tuesday by Surreys A team, 4-2. Defensive stonewalling by Englands goalkeeper Ruth Malthouse caused Kitsaps offense to stutter.
I hope well hear from them again, said Val Torrens, the Kitsaps head coach. Next year we will be better prepared.
The English team is composed of girls age 13-19. Some are just beginners, but a few play for Purley Countys national team in Southern England.
The school team is on a two week lacrosse tour of the Northwest which began in Vancouver, B.C., and will loop through the Puget Sound area before finishing this weekend in Canada.
Along the way the girls are also playing netball, a British spin-off of basketball.
This is the fourth time the Royal School has toured the States, but the first time they have been to the Northwest.
So far the competition has been really tough, said Surrey coach Karen Owen. But, I would have to say the Baltimore area has been the most challenging for us since we have begun touring.
Bainbridge and Kitsap housed the English team over the two-day period, which culminated in a send-off barbecue Tuesday night.
The experience gave the Bainbridge team a desire to seek out international play.
Our parents are trying to get on board to do a trip overseas somewhere, Tommila said. All of Great Britain is a hotbed for lacrosse, and were thinking about that. Were also looking into Japan and Australia.
But really both these games were just an opportunity for the girls to get back together and play this summer.
The Bainbridge team will come together again in March looking to repeat last years 18-0 season.
The occasion was also a great cultural experience for girls from both isles.
Its been different to what you would expect from seeing so many American movies, said Brit Lucy Brown.
Everything is a lot bigger here and its more laid-back, but it has been harder with the heat and with all the travelling since everything is so spread out. It really makes you tired.
At the end of the game, the English raised their sticks and gave a traditional Hip, Hip, Hooray to their Bainbridge opponents.
Its been a great experience. Theyve been giving us their lingo, too, like they call cleats, boots, Bachen said.
Maybe well even have to try that little Hip, Hip, Hooray thing next year.