Lacrosse team’s winning streak ends

On Saturday morning, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s lacrosse team did something that they hadn’t done since Oct. 1, 2006 – lose.

When the Hawks fell 9-5 to the Western Mustangs, they saw their winning streak of 29 games abruptly snapped in their first game of the new season.

“We really didn’t play that well, so the loss wasn’t all that shocking,” said head coach Lynn Orth.

“Obviously we’re not happy about it, but when you play like we did … a loss is just what happens.”

The women’s lacrosse team has been one of Laurier’s most successful varsity teams over the past few years, winning six consecutive Ontario University Athletics (OUA) titles.

However, they have lost almost their entire core group of players from last season to graduation.

This leaves the team with a number of rookies and inexperienced second-years stepping in and seeing significant playing time.

“We’re a very young team and it’s going to take us some time to gel,” said Orth. “When you play with someone for a few years you know where they’re going to be when you’re passing the ball, and now with so many new players, it’s definitely going to take some time for everyone to get used to each other.”

The Hawks were able to rebound in their second two games of the day, coming away with a 17-9 win over the Guelph Gryphons and a 13-3 triumph over the McMaster Marauders.

Leading the Hawks in the trio of games was one of their few returning starters, Braedyn O’Rahilly, who led the league in scoring last season.

The third-year had a very productive day, totaling 16 points in three games.

“Braedyn was the leading scorer in the league last year as a second-year and this year we’re really going to have to count on her to quarterback the offence,” said Orth.

“The fact that she got 16 points and most of them were assists really bodes well for our offence.”

The Hawks continue their season this weekend with games against Queen’s, McGill and Western; teams that, according to Orth, have greatly improved from last year.

“There’s a lot more parity in the league this year,” she said.

“A lot of the teams in the league are a lot better and I think this weekend should definitely show where we are.”

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