LACROSSE 2016 / 2017
Captain: Catherine Drewry
2015 / 2016
Officers: Captains Edward Branford
Despite a varied series of results, the 2015-16 academic year was very encouraging for the progress of the Club. As ever, mixed lacrosse attracted a great deal of interest in the first week with enough people attending sessions to exhaust the Club’s supply of sticks.
Not for the first time, Queen’s was initially overlooked by the league organisers, but when fixture lists were published not featuring our fledgling team, urgent calls were made and very soon a host of future opponents was presented to the Club. Thankfully, the past year’s decision to remove tackling from the league games was reversed, though this came too late for the first few training sessions. Such an integral part of the sport being prohibited meant many familiar with it were not as keen to continue. However, those that stayed on enjoyed the game immensely and the team was often bolstered at training and at matches by members of Regent’s Park, led by Naomi Shammas, who, without their own team, were very keen to try the game.
The league fixtures began with a strong performance, producing a convincing 5-1 win against a seemingly more experienced Oriel team. Very soon a core of committed and enthusiastic players was formed with abilities varying from one or two university players to several complete beginners. Indeed at the first game over half the team were making their debuts, including keen freshers Amy Layton, Hannah Carney and Finlay Stewart who improved rapidly, with old stalwarts such as Antoine Grey, Naomi Bradshaw, Izzy Watts and Rebekah Stroud providing invaluable support.
Further league games were often cancelled or moved to the University Parks’ free pitches, and the lack of goals here forced bizarre variants of the game to be played. In the match against a violent New College team, the more skilled Queen’s team was muscled out of proceedings by a cohort of rugby players. It was decided by all that, whatever game had been played, Queen’s had narrowly lost. It was not lacrosse as we knew it. The Club looked ahead to the Cuppers tournament in Trinity Term, content to finish in the middle of the league table.
QCLC continued training at least once weekly throughout the year, mostly with relaxed sessions focusing on individual skills such as passing and stick work, it being difficult to bring the whole team together. Despite training often descending rapidly into a picnic, and nearly always ending in ice cream, the team developed well, and soon every player had developed their stick skills to a level beyond that achieved by players new to the game in other colleges.
With only teams with a higher density of lacrosse blues to fear (of which there were many) the team approached Cuppers with high spirits raised further by the arrival of the new Queen’s lacrosse kit, designed by Social Secretary, Elizabeth Hanlon, which garnered a number of compliments from our opponents and gave a strong impression of an impressive team, one that it was able to reinforce during matches. In the first match against St Peter’s, Queen’s quickly took control of the game, the team’s flowing play sending the ball ever forward and into the goal twice, while the defence shut down any hope of a return strike. The second fixture was a derby match with St Edmund Hall, one of the best college teams, with half the team drawn from their rugby club and a large number of university players. Queen’s took the lead and held it for some time, before a relentless Hall managed to work its way through the defence to score an equaliser. The final score, a 3-1 loss, did not do justice to the performance of Queen’s. Next was the unknown entity of an amalgamated Exeter/University/Wadham team, which proved to be an incredibly strong side almost entirely comprised of blues players, including some who were no longer at Oxford or associated with any of those three colleges. It is small consolation that such teams will not be able to compete in future Cuppers tournaments, since the formidable group of players took a 4-0 victory. The final group game saw a fairly demoralised team face old and violent rivals, New College. Although this meet was very much a lacrosse match, Queen’s sadly succumbed to exhaustion, and the New College attack, formed entirely out of university players from a number of colleges, found the goal five times.
Despite not making it past the group stages, Queen’s were able to play some excellent lacrosse. Particularly noteworthy was the work of Andre Havrylyshyn, Victoria Rees and Catherine Drewry, who together ensured that the ball invariably found a Queen’s player at the draw, while Elizabeth Hanlon, Andrew Russell and first-time player Laura Holden scooped up ground ball after ground ball to put an end to many an attacking move. Also, in comparison to the violent and more rugby-based play of the other teams, Queen’s only committed two fouls, and these by an over-excited captain.
Unfortunately, the annual match between King’s College, Cambridge and Queen’s due to be hosted in Oxford this year, had to be cancelled at short notice due to a number of members of both teams becoming unavailable. The Club hopes to host King’s next year. Many of the team will remain next year and with skills learnt during this season there will be a very strong foundation to build on in the 2016-17 season, which will hopefully see a large influx of freshers and stronger ties with Regent’s Park, all overseen by captain, Catherine Drewry.
2014 / 2015
Officers: Captains Rebekah Stroud, Naomi Bradshaw
The mixed lacrosse team enjoyed great success in its first term of matches under the captaincy of Naomi Bradshaw, winning all but two of its league games, with strong performances from some of its new players, including Nils Behling and William Stone. Participation also reached all time highs with eighteen players available for one of the team’s matches. With no league matches in Hilary Term, the team kept up its skills with regular practices and was looking very strong as it ventured to Cambridge for the lacrosse tour. Unfortunately, Queen’s faced very tough opposition and lost all its matches against Cambridge college sides. The tour was a good experience and the team looks forward to meeting King’s College, Cambridge next year in a return fixture in Oxford.
In Trinity Term, the team took part in Cuppers where it was unlucky narrowly to miss progressing past the group stages. Although the team will lose a few players, some of them dedicated and influential, a large number of this year’s team will remain to form a nucleus of what it is hoped will be a successful team in 2015-16.
2013 / 2014
Officer: Captain Rebecca Shutt
With only two returning Queen’s players continuing with the team, the huge influx of first and second year members in Michaelmas Term, some being experienced in the game and some quick-to-learn, was highly encouraging. Overall the team has been one of mixed ability, but strong in enthusiasm and dedication. Regrettably all the games in the Hilary Term league were cancelled due to poor weather making the grounds unfit for play, but Queen’s persevered securing matches with various colleges and creating contacts with the newly-founded Oxford City Mixed Lacrosse team, to ensure that the team had a reasonable programme. The games had varying levels of performance and a wide range of results as is to be expected from a team largely new to the sport. By Trinity Term the team had begun to show real ability and good technique and played well in Cuppers, gaining compliments from the other Cuppers captains for good play and two of the team’s players being scouted for men’s University lacrosse. However, despite the team’s best effort Queen’s was sadly beaten in the semi-finals by a formidable Wadham, which had an extremely proficient team with many blues in its ranks. Q.C.L.C. looks to next year brightly, expecting around ten or so returning players, and welcoming the very talented and enthusiastic Naomi Bradshaw as the next captain to lead the team forth.
2012 / 2013
Officers: Captain Denis Kent
Queen’s has had a successful year of mixed lacrosse. Michaelmas Term saw a small influx of freshers which enabled Queen’s to be one of the few colleges able to field a full team in the league. The team was able to do far better than initially expected, winning two out of three matches. Unfortunately, the Hilary Term lacrosse league was cancelled due to an insufficient number of colleges wishing to participate. Nevertheless, this did not stop the club’s weekly training sessions and wall-ball stick handling drills. With Trinity Term came exams and, since the team consists mainly of finalists, the training sessions dwindled. However, this did not prevent the team’s efforts in Cuppers in which Queen’s reached the quarter-final stage and a narrow 3-2 defeat by Teddy Hall. Overall it has been a very enjoyable year for the Queen’s lacrosse team and the prospects for next year’s team, led by Rebecca Shutt, are promising.
2011 / 2012
Officers: Captain Charlotte Baker
The year started with much enthusiasm amongst current lacrosse team members. Although some notable players were no longer available, many freshers, and some second and third years, seemed keen and ready to take on the challenge of an unfamiliar and fast-paced sport. Consequently, the first practice saw many new novice faces, as well as the promising skills of a few freshers who had played at county level.
Friendly matches were organised throughout the year, especially ones in which Queen’s challenged Jesus. The first two matches against Jesus were clear Queen’s victories, in which team members such as Denis Kent and John Wilde were able to demonstrate the skills they had acquired from starting University-level lacrosse. Nathan Mountford, Rory McGee and Nathan Tongue also deserve a mention for the commitment they showed throughout the year during matches and at the fortnightly training sessions.
The league tournament in Michaelmas Term turned out to be a disappointment for Queen’s, with both matches lost by a narrow margin. However, this served to motivate the players to train harder. The resulting improved fitness and skill levels gave Queen’s hope for the Cuppers tournament in Trinity Term.
Cuppers was organised in such a way that each team played three qualifying matches and, if successful, would play two teams in the semi-finals. The first match against Worcester was a fairly easy victory for Queen’s, and was followed by another win over Pembroke/LMH. The third match against St Edmund Hall was more of a challenge. Despite a promising first goal scored by Nicola Kelly, Queen’s played most of the match with many players deep in defence desperately trying to hold off the opposition’s strong attack force. Unfortunately, this resulted in a final score of 2-1 for the Hall. The two victories enabled Queen’s to progress into the next round where the opposition were Christ Church and St Hilda’s. Another tough match was fought against Christ Church, with Jack Straker and Hugh Handy showing some daring, but just about legal, men’s-style lacrosse moves to give Queen’s a 2-0 victory. The St Hilda’s team was filled by many University-level mixed lacrosse players, giving them a clear advantage over Queen’s. Despite a well-fought game, not even Dan Williams’ speedy breaks up the field could shatter the opposing defence and Queen’s lost 3-1. Overall Queen’s came an unchallenged third as St Edmund Hall forfeited the third place play-off match.
Throughout the tournament Anna Comfort and Claudia Bayne worked together in midfield and attack, showing their high level of skill and expertise worthy of University-level lacrosse, without which the team certainly could not have secured these victories and a very successful year. The Club has also had a successful year socially, enjoying exchange dinners with Pembroke and University College lacrosse teams as well as a celebration dinner at the end of the season, all organised by social secretary, Nicola Kelly.
2010 / 2011
Officers: Captain Mark Tomlinson
Queen’s mixed lacrosse ended on a high note this year despite disappointing league results. Fresher intake this year was promising, with players such as Charlotte Baker and Nicola Kelly bringing county-level experience to the squad. Keen beginners and hardened second years provided the team with a good foundation upon which to build. Training began in earnest, and was helped later by the acquisition of new balls and a full-size goal. This year the league was arranged in such a way that each team only had two games which were played on one Saturday of Michaelmas and Trinity Terms. Queen’s was unable to secure a win on any of these occasions although the team’s standard improved noticeably over the course of the year. The nature of the matches, which lasted only ten minutes, meant that once a goal was conceded it was very difficult to claw back victory. Despite these results the team remained upbeat, thanks in part to Dipender Gill’s infectious enthusiasm and rather amusing on-pitch antics.
The pinnacle of the mixed lacrosse calendar, and the moment the whole team had been waiting for, occurred in Trinity Term. The weather remained favourable for Cuppers, which was played in the University Parks. Teams were divided into groups of three from which the team with two victories would progress to the next round. This was a daunting prospect since the opponents were colleges against which Queen’s had lost in the league. Two matches later both Worcester and St Hugh’s were out of the competition. After something of a goal drought throughout the season the Queen’s team was in high spirits and stepped up confidently to face St Peter’s. Despite performing valiantly, sadly the Cuppers dream was to go no further. Queen’s managed a last-minute equaliser and ‘golden goal’ was called by the referee. The team could only watch in horror as St Peter’s were the first to find the net. Nevertheless, Queen’s had put on a performance to be proud of. For some this marked their last appearance for the College, but for others the end of a first year as part of the illustrious club that is Queen’s mixed lacrosse. Next year’s captain, Charlotte Baker, will have the task of further establishing Queen’s as a force to be reckoned with.
2009 / 2010
Officers: Captain Leila Hill
Once again the season started with a very inexperienced squad. After the league organiser remembered to include Queen’s in the fixture list, two matches were played at Iffley Road, first a loss to Balliol and then, having learned how to play lacrosse, a win against Christ Church, despite their professional-looking kit. The quarter-final was played some weeks later at the University Parks against Trinity. It was a tightly-fought battle with lots of rough and tumble, but Trinity prevailed and Queen’s had no further part in the league play-offs.
In Trinity Term, the Cuppers tournament was the usual organisational chaos, especially since there had been a change of format that resulted in every team playing at least three games, eliminating the possibility of repeating the Cuppers Coin Toss Tragedy of 2009. Queen’s did not progress beyond the group stages, losing to St Catherine’s (who later went on to win the competition) and Pembroke, although gaining a consolation win against St Hugh’s.
This year the freshers coped well with the challenges on the pitch, and there were particularly notable performances from Fuchsia Hart, Leila Hill and university player, Mark Tomlinson, who will take over as captain next year and continue to teach future Queen’s players the tricks of northern lacrosse.
2008 / 2009
Captain: Leila Hill
Once again, the Queen’s lacrosse team has seen a year of mixed results. The season started with many of last year’s team lost to graduation, years abroad, or other sports. Fortunately, several of the freshers that joined the team either had previous lacrosse experience or took to the sport quickly.
The journey to the quarter-finals of the league ran smoothly, with an easy victory over a depleted St. Anne’s team to which Queen’s fresher Todor Todorov refused to be loaned. He went on to score the opening goal, and aided by two more from Tom Dalton, Queen’s ran out 5-1 winners. Queen’s easily overcame Trinity and Corpus but found themselves facing a strong Lady Margaret Hall team when several members of the Queen’s squad were engaged at Christ Church regatta. Queen’s produced some occasional good plays but defensive technique was often painful to observe and, although a second-half reshuffle improved its performance, it was not sufficient to avoid defeat. Hilary Term began with a 2-1 victory in a friendly warm-up match against Hertford, but the quarter-final match against Oriel was not scheduled until sixth week. Queen’s did not produce one of its better performances, players often ignoring their proper positions to play defensively, consequently leaving little connection between the defence and the single player left in the attack. The game ended with a 6-0 victory for Oriel and Queen’s eliminated from the league tournament.
The Cuppers tournament opened, and closed, with a match against Lady Margaret Hall, who later reported the match to have been the most violent in which it had ever played. This comment came as something of a surprise to Queen’s most of whose players considered the game not to have been overly aggressive. The game ended in a goalless draw. Several periods of extra time were played and the match continued to be goalless. Finally, a coin was tossed to decide the result, and, sadly the President of Taberdar’s Room Jonty Strachan called heads when tails prevailed and Queen’s were out of the competition.
This year’s squad was helped by many enthusiastic newcomers to lacrosse, mainly freshers, but also some from other years interested in playing another sport. Freshers Anna Coad and Gitanjali Patel were particularly impressive, bringing their skills and knowledge from school. University player Louise Ainley was also invaluable, the team’s performance benefitting not only from her moves on the field but also her teaching the squad about all aspects of the game. Consequently, there is considerable optimism that this more experienced team can improve upon this year’s performances.
2007 / 2008
Captain: Georgina Haigh-Monk
This year, Queen’s lacrosse team has had mixed results. A very convincing win against St Catherine’s set the team off to a good start in the inter-collegiate Lax-league, but the next few matches the team played were not so good. The team was beaten by some teams containing extremely talented blues players. This resulted in Queen’s relegation in Hilary Term, and it decided to re-focus ready for the Cuppers tournament which was to be held on the first weekend of Trinity Term.
Here a squad of sixteen very keen and able sportsmen and women who had varying levels of lacrosse experience was mustered. This allowed substitutions to be made during the games, something which hitherto had been impossible because of lack of numbers. In the first round, Queen’s convincingly beat the Balliol team 3-1 and continued into the second round where again the team’s skill and enthusiasm ensured that Jesus College was knocked out of the competition. However, in the semi-finals Worcester, with some blues players of almost professional standard, proved too much for Queen’s, which, as ever, put up a strong fight and managed to score some goals through their wall of solid defence set up around the goal.
Throughout the year enthusiasm for lacrosse has been high and a full team has been fielded for every match. Freshers Louise Ainley and Leila Hill have contributed continuously to College lacrosse and have brought a lot to the squad. Many of the other talented sportspeople that Queen’s possesses also had their debut on the Lax pitch which adds tremendously to the games we have played.
2006 / 2007
Captain: Katie Eayrs
Officers: Captain Kate Earys
The mixed lacrosse team has once again enjoyed a very successful year and has maintained its well-deserved reputation within the University. Queen’s narrowly missed gaining a place in the semi-final play-off in the league after coming second in the group to St Edmund Hall, the eventual winners of the competition. Equipped with new luminous lax sticks, the team enjoyed a convincing 9-2 win in the first game against Lady Margaret Hall, showing that Queen’s really was a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, two key players were absent for the game against St Edmund Hall, which resulted in a loss. However, Queen’s went on to enjoy a very comfortable 8-1 victory over Jesus and a 7-2 win over Balliol.
The return of Claire Coppel at centre and the skill and experience of Nick Page formed an infallible core from which flair and creativity up front from Justine Nolan and Emma Ballentine Dykes could stem. Jon Dowle and Jim Riddiford were strong and reliable in defence, and they also successfully managed to link play up to mid-field. The double act of Nick Woods and Simon Dewsbury saw long passes upfield which Dewsbury, proving that he really was a head and shoulders above the rest, always managed to pick up. The enthusiasm of the Freshers to be involved in Queen’s lacrosse has been exemplary. Georgina Haigh-Monk’s skill, Caroline Lawrence’s ability to outrun any other player, and Tom Hussey’s and Jonty Strachan’s great natural ability and game awareness have made them all valuable additions to the Queen’s lacrosse team.
Cuppers saw the return of John Gladwyn, his knowledge of the game and advice proving a real inspiration. Queen’s performed well in the first stages of the competition, with particularly memorable wins against St Catherine’s and Balliol providing the team with a place in the semi-finals against St Edmund Hall. After a tense and very close game, the score at full time was 3-3. Unfortunately, the aggression of the Hall saw them score the ‘golden goal’ and the team’s dreams of Cuppers victory disappeared.
Throughout the year the ability to work together as a team, coupled with some considerable individual talent, has allowed Queen’s to go from strength to strength, and has also made captaining such an enthusiastic and committed team a real pleasure.
2005 / 2006
Captain: Nick Page
We have started the season well with a 3-1 win against our rivals Worcester and next we move on to Univ. The squad has carried on well from last year with several new additions demonstrating considerable skills with a lax stick. We look forward to continuing our onward march as we seek to prevent St Catz once more after they did the double over us last year in both league and cuppers finals. We are always open to anyone who wants to come and play, no experience required at all. What’s more, we have the best stash ever!
2004 / 2005
Captain: Sophie Slowe
Only mixed lacrosse is offered at a college level and everyone gets involved; from experienced county players, to rugby boys, to people who have never held a lacrosse stick in their life. It is played in both Michaelmas and Hilary Term up at University Parks and there is both a college league and a Cuppers Competition (inter-college knockout tournament).
Although Queen’s only joined the inter-college mixed lacrosse scene two years ago, our fledgling squad are already dominating it. We have got right through to the league finals both years only to have victory snatched from under our noses at the last minite, in our first season by the cheats otherwise known as Worcester and then this season by the St Catz crew. This year we also survived a gruelling day of impressive cuppers matches but were pipped to the post once again by St Catz in an epic final involving war paint, bandanas and a fair share of blood, sweat and tears, with an end score of 5-4.
Next year we are determined to finally go the whole distance but some of our key players will have unfortunately been lost to the big wide world so it is vital that we recruit some fresh legs. Come and join Queen’s mixed lacrosse squad on their road to glory! (p.s. minimum training sessions and lots of post-match boozing and team socials).
For those who want a higher level of training and matches the University Lacrosse Club has men’s, women’s and mixed teams.