This Saturday saw Edinburgh City host the USAAI lacrosse team on one of the sunniest days of the year. Composed of university players from across America, the USAAI team was coming off a convincing win against Aberdeen City the previous weekend, and they showed up ready to play against an Edinburgh squad missing several key players.
Edinburgh City started strong, generating several good scoring chances in the opening minutes of the game. The USA defense withstood the attack, however, and consistent pressure from their own offense netted them the first three goals of the game. Billy Martin opened the scoring for Edinburgh City two-thirds of the way through the first quarter with an unassisted underhand rocket from the restraining line, but the USA squad answered two minutes later by capitalizing on a defensive breakdown in the Edinburgh end, and the quarter ended 4-1 in favor of the away team.
Edinburgh’s lack of substitutions was painfully clear in the second quarter. USA’s aggressive defense prevented Edinburgh from sustaining any offense and created many turnovers that the skilled American attack took full advantage of. They put up eight unanswered goals on the strength of their transition play, and at halftime Edinburgh trailed 1-12.
Bret Retallick energized the home team with a big hit on a USA midfielder early in the third quarter. Edinburgh’s defense regained its composure after the previous quarter and held strong against the surging USA attack, but they still surrendered five goals through twenty more minutes of relentless pressure. Retallick eventually managed to stem the tide late in the quarter, firing a quick pass from Callum Chessire past the USA goalie and putting Edinburgh back on the board to end the third down 2-17.
The American attack continued to take advantage of unsettled plays in the fourth quarter, but the exhausted Edinburgh team did not give up, and the home team’s offense started moving the ball better than it had all game. Greg Scott found Retallick midway through the quarter for his second goal of the game, and Scott fired his own past the American goalie off a feed from visiting Nick Sivon to close out the scoring. The game ended in a decisive 21-4 victory for USAAI.
Although disappointed with the final score, Edinburgh can take away several positives from the match. Their settled play was strong at both ends of the field; Edinburgh’s defense stopped two of the USA’s three man-up chances, and the offense scored on its lone extra-man opportunity of the game. Devin Oliver made several difficult saves on his way to an 18-save performance, and the entire team deserves huge praise for showing great hustle and intensity throughout a physically demanding game.