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England Women's Box at SheBox 2024

England Women's Box at SheBox 2024

Jason Perrin |

In April I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend SheBox 2024 in Prague, Czech Republic to represent the first ever England Women’s Box Lacrosse team. The tournament is one that the squad had been building towards for the past 6 months as it was to be considered a key stepping stone in the preparation for the first ever Women’s Box Lacrosse World Championships to be held this September in Utica, New York. After months of trials, the coaching staff selected a 29-player roster to attend the annual SheBox event.

It’s safe the say there were pre-tournament nerves amongst the squad, we were suddenly out of our comfort zone of the Oxford Academy (our training venue) and the realisation that we were about to play against real opponents, not our squad teammates, was dawning on us. We were fit enough? Strong enough? Fast enough? We were about to find out. Game one saw us face Finland (originally supposed to be Hong Kong, however due to delayed flights on their end this game was rescheduled which meant we had an especially nervy start as no team wants a sudden schedule change!)

Finland provided us with a good first game – they were physical enough at times and scored some good goals but ultimately it was comfortable first win: 9-2. In the huddle after the game sighs of relief were audible as we had officially bagged a win from our first game. Our rescheduled game took place that night (nerves again – no one anticipated two games on day one!) against Hong Kong. They were fast and had some great agility on their team, however we secured a second comfortable win at an 11-4 score line. So far so good!

After some much-needed mobility sessions in the evening and the following morning (thank you Lyndon!) it was time for game three: Netherlands. Anticipated to be most physical team we had faced so far, but it was noticeable that as a team our confidence was increasing as we were beginning to play with more cohesion and belief in each other. Another win; 14-3, a score that doesn’t reflect the physicality of the game.

Game four the following day saw us face Germany, and the nerves were there again in the pits of our stomachs. We had watched some of their other games throughout the tournament and they were undoubtedly a good team. It wasn’t our best performance, the energy was off perhaps due to tournament fatigue, perhaps it was just an off-game, but Germany took the win 11-6 (we’ll be back!)

Our final game was against the Women’s Global Network team, mostly made up of Canadian players, so naturally an experienced team, but also featured some of our England Performance Squad players! Off the back of the loss to Germany the previous day emotions were running high and our team were determined to finish the tournament on a high – albeit against the toughest team at the tournament. The game was the fastest and most physical game of box lacrosse that we had played as a team, but every single player dug deep and we put on our best team performance of the tournament. Ending on a dramatic note, the game ended in a draw (7-7) and ultimately England won on penalty shots (2-0), shout out to Lucy Mayers for the insane saves and Rosie and Beaman for their goals!

The aftermath of this win was electric. Coach Scott may have even shed a tear…

I can barely put in to words how immensely proud I was of this team in this moment (and still am), I can feel the buzz just thinking about it as I write! The smiles, the hugs and even the dance moves on display after the game epitomises the emotion felt by this group of players and the bond that was established in the team over the course of the tournament.

Aside from my experience with Team England, I want to touch on the event itself. The organisation, the officiating and all the work that goes in to the event each year was amazing to witness. Coach Scott tried to prepare us for how special the location of the tournament (LCC Radotin) is, especially during the event that follows E/She-Box, the Aleš Hřebeský Memorial, and he was right in explaining that the place has a special energy shared by all the lacrosse enthusiasts who attend in any capacity be it as a player, coach, official, spectator, etc. On a personal note it was a fantastic experience to attend such a well-known and historic lacrosse event and as always bumping in to and catching up with friends from the global lacrosse community is an absolute pleasure.  

Our team learned some invaluable lessons from SheBox 2024 and it can be confirmed that we stepped up and put our bodies on the line for our team; from injured knees, to dislocated shoulders, to concussions (an injury experienced on a personal level!), however these experiences, the wins and the loss, have definitely brought us closer and made us stronger as a team. Coach Scott told us that we needed that loss against Germany in order to win in the fighting manner that we did in our final game, and I believe he was right.

Off the back of the tournament, our coaching staff have selected a 23-player roster to attend the World Championships. SheBox was just the beginning. We go again - next stop, Utica…


Lucy Ford

England Women's Box Squad