Women’s lacrosse content with silver lining

Queen’s gets to the OUA final for the fourth year in a row, but once again can’t overcome the Laurier Golden Hawks

The women’s lacrosse season, rife with injury and inexperience, managed to finish with silverware at the end of the road. On the road to the OUA championships on Saturday, the Gaels were matched up against the Western Mustangs in semifinal action, winning 12-9. But in the final on Sunday, Queen’s couldn’t overcome the Laurier Golden Hawks, who beat them twice during the season and 12-5 in the final. It was the sixth-straight championship for the Golden Hawks and Queen’s fourth-straight loss to them in the OUA final.

In the OUA awards, midfielder Lisa McLaughlin was named Most Valuable Offensive Player and defender Ruth McArthur was named Most Valuable Defensive Player. Both players were also named to the OUA All-Star first team.

Saturday’s game against Western featured a very strong performance from Queen’s. Martha Ross notched five goals, Jodey Therrieault and Kelsey Eriksen had two each and Alex Erath, Carley Miller and Lisa McLaughlin put home one apiece. Further, Miller displayed guts only seen in playoff games, as she continued playing after being dealt a gash early by a Mustang stick, a cut that required five stitches after the game.

Sunday’s game provided the Gaels a chance at redemption against Laurier. Unfortunately three Laurier goals in the first five minutes put a damper on the Gaels’ game plan and they found themselves readjusting, going into halftime down 8-4.

The second half started strongly for the Gaels, as they took 12 shots and kept Laurier to one, but the Golden Hawks keeper kept the second half scoreless. Laurier finally notched the first goal of the half, and Queen’s couldn’t catch up, eventually falling 12-5. For Queen’s, Ross scored two of those goals, and Miller, McLaughlin and Gwyn Ross all notched one.

McArthur, who also serves as one of the team’s assistant coaches, said the season’s success was mainly due to the relationships the team built over the course of the season.

“The majority of it was team bonds,” she said. “Lacrosse is a mental game and the girls had a connection with each other. Getting the girls to be supportive of each other was a major success. Getting the girls to support each other was really helpful, it took some of the responsibility off of [assistant coach] Jodey [Therrieault] and I.”

As for improvements for next year, McArthur seemed optimistic given the youth of the team.

“Since there are only four girls graduating, the core of the team is together,” she said. “They can take the foundations that Jodey and I put in place this year to expand on the Queen’s lacrosse game.”

Starting goaltender Freyah Durand, who found herself on the team’s list of casualties for a few weeks this season, said the season as a whole was a success because the bonding formed within the team allowed for honest critiques of one another.

“Overall this season we worked really hard and pushed ourselves individually and as a team,” she said. “We spent every day for the last two months together, to the point that it became okay to correct anyone on the team without fear, no one would get offended by anything.” As for the medal, Durand said that even though the team was young and typically hurt, they never expected anything less than hardware.

“We saw ourselves getting a medal because we strive for it,” she said. “Everybody worked so hard and felt that if we kept high intensity every day we’d get what we deserved.”

Durand said that next year’s team would have to concentrate on consistency and attitude in order to be successful.

“As a team, we need to work on improving our focus and not getting frazzled,” she said. “One of the things that happens when we’re losing is we get frazzled and stop playing our game. We’re a good team and, if we can harness our energy, we can be awesome.”

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