Lacrosse claims bronze hardware
Following a roller coaster year, the Wilfrid Laurier women’s lacrosse team returned to the podium with a thrilling 12-11 overtime win against the Brock Badgers in the bronze medal game of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship.
“From being here, this is my third year, and not even placing in the top three, it feels amazing,” said third-year attacker Sara Hatch. “Just to be able to be back on the podium. We were a really strong team so it’s really nice for us to be back up there.”
“Especially after everything the girls went through, it was definitely well deserved. Goes to show how good karma can be,” laughed interim coach Jory Garibaldi.
After a three-year drought without a medal, the Hawks defeated the Queen’s Gaels in the quarterfinal.
The Hawks met the Western Mustangs in the semifinal for a chance to advance to the final, but fell 15-7. Hatch scored six of Laurier’s seven goals in the loss.
In the bronze medal game, the Hawks were trailing 11-8 late and came from behind to come within one, before Hatch scored with 35 seconds left in the game to tie it up and send the game into overtime.
Hatch scored five goals in the bronze medal game. Sarah Stanley scored the overtime winner.
“I can honestly say that that’s the best I’ve ever played all season, if not in all three years that I’ve been at Laurier,” Hatch said. “I’m not necessarily sure where that came from. I think it was just knowing that we had a chance to medal.”
After all of the issues the Hawks went through, it helped prepare them mentally and physically.
“Just being together and winning something together, they did it for each other. They did it for themselves, but they really pulled through and fought for each other,” Garibaldi said.
“I think all of the stuff we went through, if anything, just made us appreciate each other more as a team,” Hatch said. “So I think we had that benefit over other teams because it drew us all closer together. We were stronger.”
Hatch believes that in her fourth and potentially final year with the Hawks there’s room to do better.
“When I came in here in my first year, we got fifth. And then last year we got fourth and this year we got third, and I can only hope that it goes up from there. We have a chance to be in the gold and silver game,” she said.