England Lacrosse

On an unusually sunny Sunday afternoon, the England Lacrosse National Club Championship took place at Moulton College, Northamptonshire. The 2022 tournament (08/05) not only included a men’s and women’s bracket, but for the first time in the league’s history, mixed lacrosse was also featured in the line-up.

In a riveting display of tenacity and teamwork, Cambridge University Mixed Lacrosse Club (CUMLC) emerged with an unprecedented victory over Oxford City Lacrosse Club, taking home the title of the first-ever England Lacrosse Mixed League National Champions. No other university lacrosse club has seen such success this season, and CUMLC’s domineering presence throughout the year is a testament to not only the hard work and dedication of its team members but also to the newly-popular and ever-growing status of mixed lacrosse across the country.

Getting to this stage in the tournament was no easy feat, and the journey had its kickoff back in October when CUMLC began its undefeated league season. The highlight of the year came in February, when CUMLC beat Oxford University Mixed Lacrosse Club 13-7, securing a victory at the 25th annual Varsity match (while also clinching Cambridge’s 10th consecutive win). CUMLC went on to dominate in the regional semi-finals, crushing (to put it lightly) Sutton-Bonnington 26-0, which was followed by a swift victory for the Blues in the regional finals (defeating Birmingham 26-4). From there, CUMLC faced its fiercest opponent in the national semi-finals, as the London City Panthers had previously dominated in several leagues and tournament matches. Nevertheless, Cambridge emerged triumphant, snatching an 11-9 win.

Arbuthnott driving towards goalJames Rafferty

At 12:45 PM on Sunday, midfielder Izzy McGill stepped to the centre circle to take the draw. The match began with a rather surprising display of control and authority from Cambridge, as the Blues historically struggled to safeguard an early lead (see previous Varsity matches). Cambridge’s first goal came instantly, as a lightning pass from defender Ran Zmigrod into the fan spurred a quick finish by stellar attacker Emily Arbuthnott. The Blue’s first goal set an energetic precedent for the remainder of the quarter, for, in no time, midfielder Rob MacLennan scored a rapid second goal off a possession from the draw. From there, Arbuthnott scored another two sensational goals, giving her a hattrick within the first seven minutes of the game. However, spirits were dampened as Cambridge struggled to keep their composure allowing Oxford City to retaliate with three rapid-fire goals.

The first quarter was defined by a fervid display of fortitude despite Oxford City’s sudden burst of goals, and the Cambridge Blues managed to regain their composure entering the second quarter with a 5-3 lead after a quick 5th goal from attacker Lucy Hilton before the end of the first. Hilton kept up the intensity, scoring another 2 goals at the start of the second quarter—one assisted by current Captain Seb Mitchell, who had journeyed from the defensive unit for a third fire goal.

James Rafferty

At half-time, with Cambridge leading 8-5, the Blues decided that the objective for the second half was containment: ensuring Oxford City would not score. While the third quarter began with Cambridge conceding a goal to a strong attack by Oxford City, this was the last of their opponent’s activity, as Oxford failed to score again for the rest of the match.

However, Cambridge remained ever composed, as MacLennan fired a quick goal to the top corner bringing back the Blue’s four goal advantage. Arbuthnott further secured the lead for the Blues with her fourth goal of the game.


Mountain View

Cambridge lacrosse secure National semi-finals with win over Sutton Bonington

Going in with a score of 10-6, the final quarter proved a masterclass of possession, as the settled style of play by the Blues all but cemented a victory. Mirroring the action of the third quarter, MacLennan and Arbuthnott added two more goals to the Cambridge tally while Oxford City failed to break past Baker’s brick-wall goalkeeping. The Blue’s forced Oxford City into a slow downwards trajectory, as the club scored 3 goals in the first quarter: two in the second, one in the third, then zero in the fourth.

The match ended 12-6 to Cambridge, a score not dissimilar from the 13-7 Varsity victory Cambridge had over Oxford University a few months prior. No surprise to anyone, attacker Arbuthnott was given the title of MVP, and at 2 PM in the afternoon, all Blue’s players received their gold medals and also a shiny silver plate etched with the title, “England Lacrosse Mixed League: National Champions.”

CUMLC’s national title not only catapults the club to a place of prestige (highlighting all the hard work and dedication of each and every member of the club), but the very inclusion of a mixed bracket in the day’s events re-affirms mixed lacrosse’s prominence as an inclusive and exciting athletic endeavour.