After going 1-0 down, the Blues went on to lead for the rest of the matchDamola Odeyemi

Saturday (26/02) marked a largely successful day for Cambridge University lacrosse at the Oxford University Parks, with both mixed squads beating the Dark Blues and the Women’s Blues coming out on top in their all-important fixture.

Cambridge University Mixed Lacrosse Club (CUMLC) Blues went into this year’s Varsity match as the clear favourites. The team was in excellent form, having won every league match this season, and they were looking to win their tenth consecutive Varsity.

On what was a beautiful, sunny day in Oxford, the match started much the same as last year's, as Oxford scored a goal within the first two minutes. The Light Blues began slowly, perhaps rattled by the early goal. For five or so minutes, the team predicted to win struggled to retain the ball, giving up multiple turnovers to Oxford, who came out of the blocks fast and aggressive.

In the seventh minute, Cambridge equalised with their first period of sustained possession. Rob MacLennan skilfully beat his marker and shot to make it 1-1.

Cambridge built on this momentum, scoring two minutes later, with a series of successive vertical passes from Kit Baker in goal, to captain Seb Mitchell, to Ran Zmigrod, who had migrated to attack from his usual defensive position. A subtle dummy followed by a shot into the left side netting gave Cambridge the lead.

The Blues attack was now warmed up with captain Emily Jenkins leading from the front, being a constant threat with her runs from behind goal. 

The mixed 2s demolished Oxford by a score of 11-3Damola Odeyemi

This match, however, was not going to be as straightforward as last year’s fixture, when the Light Blues easily won 22-2. Oxford were not backing down. Chris Jurkowski, all the way from defence, decided to take the game into his own hands. From a quick turnover and a sudden burst of pace, he found himself one-on-one against Zmigrod. Even as he was successfully shepherded away from goal, he managed to get a shot off at the tightest of angles, levelling the score at 2-2.

Cambridge were quick to retaliate with two goals in the last few minutes of the first quarter. The first was by Emily Arbuthnott, affectionately known as ‘Queenie’ by Judy Murray, who executed after a well-timed solo drive from outside the fan; and the other was by Lucy Hilton, who with some ducking and weaving beat two defenders in close proximity and placed the ball into the bottom left corner. The score was 4-2 after fifteen minutes.

The second quarter started much the same as the first: Oxford scored early, and Cambridge retaliated with two goals. Arbuthnott struck again in the 19th minute, followed up by a decisive shot from Millie Dinan, the final receiver of an excellent Cambridge fast break started off by a block from Max Groeller.

The pattern repeated itself for a third time towards the end of the quarter. Jurkowski scored for Oxford to make it 6-4, but great team goals finished off by Oren Hargreaves and two from MacLennan took the score to 9-4, effectively putting the game out of reach of the Dark Blues. Jurkowski again, by far the most potent player in the Oxford team, scored to end the second quarter, however it came across only as a consolation goal, as Cambridge looked to stretch their lead.


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The third quarter saw the majority of Cambridge’s domination, spear-headed by Mitchell. He began the quarter by scoring, rolling around the crease and shooting over the keeper’s head. Arbuthnott then scored her third goal of the match in the 40th minute, as she ghosted into the fan unmarked to receive the assist from Hilton behind goal. Mitchell then capped off this excellent Cambridge quarter by scoring from a free position, making it 12-5.

Given the excellent Cambridge performance of the first three quarters, and the almost certain victory, it’s unsurprising to say that the Light Blues became slightly complacent in trying to close out the match. Oxford managed to win the fourth quarter 2-1, with goals from Joe Glick, a Cambridge alumnus and ex-member of CUMLC, and Jurkowski, who was having a magnificent game. Arbuthnott scored a last-minute conversion to end the match at 13-7.

Varsity Player of the match: Rob MacLennan

CUMLC beat Oxford overall by an even greater margin, as they won the 2s match 11-3 with great performances from Chloe Frantzis in attack and Lucy Evans between the sticks. Elsewhere, the Women’s Blues emerged victorious in their matchup, winning 12-7.

However, it was disappointment for the Men’s Blues who, after a tight match, narrowly lost 13-11. The Women’s 2s also fell to defeat by the same two-goal margin, 7-5.

Overall, it was a great day for Cambridge lacrosse, winning three of five matches and conclusively beating Oxford after the scores were aggregated.