As one commentator put it, “It’s the worst thing to happen to UK polocrosse since Dan Duhig injured his thumb” and they could well be right. News has reached us that Sophie Lodder has broken her wrist in the run up to the World Cup. The injury happened while the team were based in New Zealand preparing for the contest.
This is a bad blow as Sophie is one of the best lady players the UK have. She is a veteran of the last world cup, which is quite amazing when you consider that she is only 22 now (and so was 18 at the time), where she played very well as part of an unbeaten UK ladies section. She was also on brilliant form when she represented the UK Under 21’s against Zimbabwe in 2005, her last international outing and was set to be one of the key players for UK in this world cup. She would have most likely been played at number 3 or number 2. The UK ladies are a formidable force and it was hoped that they would win their half of the UK matches comfortably in order to give the men a cushion against the strong teams like Zimbabwe and Australia. Without Sophie, this looks like being a lot harder.
However, every cloud has a silver lining and Sophie’s injury means that Lucy Shell will probably win her first UK ladies senior cap. Lucy was a team mate of Sophie’s in the UK under 21 against Zimbabwe and is a very competitive and talented player in her own right. She is young, only 21 but will no doubt do her best to fill Sophie’s shoes. With Sophie injury, it is expected the UK will field a starting line up of Shelley King, Sarah Simkin and Debbie Harris with Lucy as the fourth player coming in at number 2 or 3 when needed.