It hasn’t been easy for Wilfrid Laurier’s women’s lacrosse team.
Coming off a disappointing ending to the 2012 season where the Hawks only lost two regular season games, but then lost to the Guelph Gryphons in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) semifinal, there were high expectations for this year.
However, the season hasn’t been without its setbacks. Earlier in the season, head coach Lynn Orth discontinued her coaching due to illness.
Since then, Jory Garibaldi has stepped in as interim of the lacrosse team.
“I’m very happy to help,” Garibaldi said. “Lynn has been my coach since I was like ten years old, so I know the way she runs things and I’m trying to do things the same with my own little style. The girls have been great with me and they’re doing really well and I can only see them doing better.”
Currently, the Hawks sit with a 5-4-1 record with three games left before the OUA championships in Kingston, Ont., at the end of the month. Garibaldi explained that while there were issues getting the Hawks motivated and consistent because of the hardships surrounding the team they rallied together. And Garibaldi still has high hopes for her team.
“This season has been a little bit of an up and down because their main coach had to leave due to illness,” she said. “So, they’ve really proved how good of a team they are on and off the field, coming together through all that … So the girls have really come together and stepped up in leadership roles and proved how bad they want to win and how bad they want to do better than last year.”
This past weekend, Laurier played their only two home games of the year. In the first game, Laurier defeated McMaster 14-8 in a strong offensive performance. However, the Hawks couldn’t defeat the Western Mustangs, dropping their second game 20-3.
With the OUA championships just two weeks away, the women’s lacrosse team is still striving for high expectations despite a lackluster season. In the past, the Hawks have been notoriously known for a competitive team, winning eight provincial championships since 2000.
“We all are on the same mindset, and we expect to win,” Garibaldi said. “It’s been an up and down season, but right now, we have two weeks to work towards the OUAs [championship] and we’re doing everything in our hands to win.”
While the “hardships” for lacrosse have caused setbacks, Garibaldi doesn’t want to use it as an excuse. Instead, she is confident in the talent on the bench as Laurier heads into their final weekend of play. The Hawks will play a makeup game on Thursday against the Gryphons before heading to London to play the Brock Badgers and Marauders.
“Right now, we’re an underrated team because of all of the hardships,” Garibaldi said. “It’s really hard for a team to stick together when there’s no type of structure, which there wasn’t for a little bit. Right now, we’re looking on the up and we’re definitely someone to watch out for.”