Lacrosse team splits weekend

The Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks’ women’s lacrosse team has had a turbulent year. They have been dominating the province for the last several seasons and have won seven Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships under head coach Lynn Orth.

However, this year, with a fresh young roster, they have fought hard for a respectable 5-4 record.

This mediocre season was on display Saturday at University Stadium, where the Hawks defeated McGill, who was 2-5, and then lost to the first place University of Toronto Blues, allowing the Blues to remain undefeated and closing the day with one win and one loss. 

Against McGill, the Hawks were able to generate some early offence leading to a 10-7 victory. When asked about her team’s performance against McGill in comparison to how they played against U of T, Orth responded, “They just aren’t the same calibre team,” in reference to McGill.

Later in the afternoon against the powerful Blues, the Hawks got off to a slow start, something that cannot be done against the first place opponent. The purple and gold were loose defensively and tense offensively.

“In the first half we were intimidated,” said Orth of her team’s disappointing first half against U of T. “I am encouraged by how we played because we are very young so we were just learning each other’s strengths.”

Early in the match, Laurier had difficulties breaking out of their own zone and stopping the Blues from executing their game plan offensively, resulting in the Hawks being hemmed in their own end repeatedly, with U of T having the edge in time of possession. At the end of the first half, the Hawks found themselves trailing 6-0.

To start the second half, Laurier scored three quick goals, and there was hope for a comeback. But this hope was shot down by penalty trouble, with the Hawks being on the wrong end of two infractions, effectively taking the wind out of their sails.

This killed all momentum, as Orth stated, “If we did not get into penalty trouble this would have been a totally different game; we gave up four shorthanded goals in the second half.”

The Hawks also could not contain the Blues’ forwards, giving up hat tricks to three University of Toronto snipers, leaving goalie Hanna Burnett out to dry.

The Hawks now stand in fourth place with a one game above .500 record after going undefeated last season.

Coach Orth acknowledges how young this unit truly is, providing her with optimism for the rest of the season and looking forward past this season.

Laurier will close out the regular season this Wednesday at University Stadium, where they will face the winless Guelph Gryphons in an attempt to end the regular season on a positive note and build some momentum for the future.

Stars of the game for Laurier include goalie Hanna Burnett as well as first-year Jory Garibaldi, who was great at both ends of the field and had a highlight reel goal.

The Hawks take on the Guelph Gryphons in their last game of the regular season tonight at 9 p.m. at University Stadium.

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