Women’s lacrosse undefeated to start season

Gaels sitting first in OUA at halfway point of 2018-19 campaign

Women’s lacrosse has won their first seven games this season.
Women’s lacrosse has won their first seven games this season
Credit: 
Photo supplied by Kiah Shanks

The women’s lacrosse team is one of the most dominant teams at Queen’s this fall.

The Gaels, who’ve won all seven of their regular season games, are off to perfect start—outscoring their opponents by a cumulative score of 93-23 and shutting out three teams entirely.  

Head coach Mike Watson attributed  his team’s early success to their preparation and  intensity in practice. 

“We take a lot of time to prepare. We run practice three times a week and run conditioning twice a week,” Watson said, crediting the Gael’s speed to their conditioning programming. 

Compared to last season, Watson added the Gaels are a more threatening team on offence and defence. It’s allowed the coaching staff to be confident with every player they put out on the field. 

“We have more depth than last year. We can only start so many players but we have players who come in off the bench,” Watson said. “Because of the depth we have, it allows us to push the pace more this year.”

Queen’s has already shown they want to improve on where they finished last season. 

During the 2017-18 campaign, the Gaels finished second in the OUA, losing to the Western Mustangs in the finals. 

This season, the team avenged their championship loss in their third game of the year when they beat the Mustangs 10-5.

Second-year Kiah Shanks, who logged 13 goals in her first three games of the season, said the Gaels’ current record has come with its share of bumps. She cited the Gaels’ fourth game against the Trent Excalibur, where they found themselves down early.

“I think they got into our heads,” Shanks said regarding the Gaels’ game agains Trent. The team’s resiliency, she added, paved the way for them to come back and win 10-8. “We were down at one point and we just kept pumping each other up.”

Shanks has also attributed a share of the Gaels’ success to chemistry and how well the team has been getting along to start the season. 

“We are all so close and [we’re] bonding which helps with communication on the field,” Shanks said. “When we believe in each other, things just work out on the field.”

With regards to the team’s on-field performance, Shanks said one of the team’s core assets has been their speed.

“I think we are one of the fastest teams in [the] league and it allows us to force a lot of turnovers against good teams,” Shanks said.

The Gaels have six games left this season and have their sights set on an OUA championship when playoffs begin this coming October. The team will be going in with high expectations, as they’ve already had successful encounters with three of their upcoming opponents. 

Although they’ve been the top team in their league so far, Shanks said she’s continuing to urge her teammates to maintain their intensity as they near the postseason. 

“We have to keep pushing it and try not to be too confident.”

 

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