The Moreton Hall Under 14s Lacrosse team are celebrating having been crowned National Champions at the prestigious 2019 National Schools Lacrosse Tournament held at Aldershot.
Reflecting on the girls’ achievement, Lacrosse Coach, Mrs Louise Lewin commented: “This win encapsulates everything about Moreton: the teamwork, the dedication to each other, the camaraderie, the sheer guts and fitness.
“The girls have achieved the best possible accolade. There is nothing higher than this.
“They are the number one team in the country for their sport.”
Retired lacrosse teacher, Sue Draper, who has taught generations of students across Shropshire said: “For a mighty but small school in Shropshire, to defeat and overcome the power that the London schools have, is remarkable! Sheer numbers, match practice, and being coached by England players helps them to produce the finest teams.
“But, by hard graft, by superb teaching, by the high profile and priority that Moreton Hall give to sport, by the self-belief and all the characteristics that the school strive for, within the school, and on the games field, Moreton Hall girls have won through.”
Parent Clare Downes watched all of the matches, holding her breath with anticipation as the team progressed: “The Under 14s went to the Nationals with no expectations, apart from to enjoy a great day of playing fantastic lacrosse. Gradually the opposition teams became fewer and the coaches kept warning me, as we made it into each new round, how big the schools were and how good! None of us dared hope that they could keep going. The girls just kept believing they could win though - and did!” she said.
The team faced some gruelling battles against some of the country’s most renowned lacrosse schools, beating Guildford High in the quarter finals and Lady Eleanor Holles in the final.
Team Captain, Georgia Thomas, enthused: “Our amazing goalie, Iris, achieved so much in the final match, saving so many shots on goal. The attacks and the defenders worked solidly, heeding Mrs Lewin’s words to keep possession. Every member of the team gave their all.
"Our coaches have been amazing. We couldn’t have achieved this without their dedication and faith in us.”
Head of Lacrosse Coaching at Moreton Hall, Hollie Harrington, added: “This is the first time we have ever won nationals. The fire and desire that the team showed was inspiring and the memories will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
Success was also achieved across the year groups, with Moreton’s First and Second teams being placed in the top 8; and the Under 13s reaching the semi-finals.
Moreton Hall has cemented its position as one of the country’s leading centres of Lacrosse excellence. In the words of Tatler ‘Every girl in England should have at least a term in this environment.’
Principal Jonathan Forster commented: "We had high hopes of success. Before we began the tournament all our teams have had an excellent season.
“However, the performance at every level exceeded all our expectations in ways difficult to encapsulate.
“The Firsts and Seconds were outstanding. The Thirds played their hearts out as did the Under 15s.
“The Under 13s National semi-finalists - and The Under 14s (Upper 4 to us) won Nationals!
“Yes, won Nationals - a small year group with just one reserve and they won The English Lacrosse National Championships!”