The Newmarket Redbirds lacrosse U19 girls team will wrap a successful season up with international flair as they take on a visiting UK team July 25.
The team will take on a visiting foreign team for the first time in three years in some friendly games. This comes after the team finished its formal season July 17 with a bronze-medal finish in its rep league.
Assistant coach Michael Partridge said the games will be a nice conclusion to a return to more normal play amidst the pandemic.
“The girls get to meet new players, make new friends, make new connections,” Partridge said. “It’s all very exciting.”
This year marks the first time the club has been able to do regular league play since the pandemic began, Partridge said. The tradition of having UK visitors also dates back to before the pandemic but was on hiatus with the pandemic impeding travel over the past couple of years.
“It’s been really trying for the girls to go two years without lacrosse, with different lockdown and restrictions. We’re really proud of the girls,” he said.
The club runs programming and teams for all ages, but the U19 girls team saw some success in its first complete season back with a bronze finish at the Ontario Women’s Field Lacrosse U19 Rep A competition in Oshawa this past weekend. The team was victorious over the hometown team, winning in overtime.
“There’s a high degree of focus and attention to detail by the players, the coaches, the volunteers,” Partridge said. “It’s not a big club necessarily, but it’s one that feels a bit like family and people are really trying and working together to have good team results.”
Several of the players will be graduating this year, going on to play in post-secondary schools. The friendly games with the UK team will be kept to U18 to match the ages of their opponents, Partridge said. The UK team comes from St. George's School in Harpenden, England.
“They generally are pretty good teams that come from overseas,” Partridge said. “It’s very much a lacrosse vacation these (UK) girls are going on.”
You can watch the games at the recreation fields in Aurora, 75 Industrial Pkwy. It starts at approximately 6:15 p.m July 25.