Athletics strike gold
The St. Catharines Athletics won a gold medal and made history in the process at the Ontario Lacrosse Association U15 girls provincial A championships in Oshawa Sunday.
The championship was the first girls provincial A field lacrosse title in St. Catharines history.
“We thought we had a really good shot going into the season,” head coach Pat Mccready said. “We’ve had this core group together for about six years.
“On the trophy they gave us, Oshawa had 15 or 16 years in a row where they won.”
The championship wrapped up an undefeated season for the A’s who went 9-0-1 in the regular campaign before winning all four games at the provincials.
The A’s defeated Orangeville 12-6 and Halton Hills 10-8 in the round-robin portion of the weekend before topping Oakville 14-3 in the semifinals and Halton Hills 9-2 in the gold medal game.
Mccready said it was a total team effort.
“We’ve been doing a box lacrosse/field lacrosse hybrid with the kids and they’ve really exceeded expectations,” he said. “They were incredible.
“We had a philosophy. It’s field lacrosse so it’s midfield, attack and defence. We rotated everyone throughout positions during the year. Two quarters at mid, a quarter at defence and a quarter at attack and then come provincials everyone played more at their strength positions.”
McCready was also thrilled with how the players improved over the course of the season.
“Everyone developed. The emphasis was on development and that was the strength of the team. Everyone really contributed.”
He was particularly impressed with Madelyn Brouwer, who switched to goal with about three weeks to play.
“She was just fantastic in net for us.”
McCready said a title may have been in the cards previously were it not for the pandemic.
“Without COVID, I think this team would have had a good chance to win in the U13 year but we got shutdown,” he said.
Members of the team are: Alyssa Gaspich, Aubrey Sartor (C), Aubrey Lagrotteria, Aurora Grenier, Brynn Sartor (A), Charlee Love, Grier Cooper, Hailey Fenema, Kaycie Nichols, Maddy Mccready (A), Madelyn Brouwer, Sofia Fiore, Victoria Turner, Mia Mccready (AP).
Absent for provincials were: Jordyn Hill, Elise Devitt, Kendall Finbar, Lita Sutor.
Head coach: Pat McCready. Assistant coaches: Scott Turner, Marty Cooper. Trainer: Emily Cooper. Staff: Laura Tober, Jill Dixon, Ali Phillips, Amber Hill.
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