– Kyle Denton, Sports Editor
The women’s lacrosse team finished up their season this past weekend coming up short of the OUA championship by losing in the quarter-finals to Toronto, 9-8. Not being crowned OUA champions in 2011 is a feat that rarely eludes a lacrosse program that has won 8 championship titles since 2000, including the 2010 championship. Coach Lynn Orth and her squad were heavy favourites in their game against Toronto, having won both games in the season series including a decisive 10-2 victory back in early October. Toronto got the best of the girls this past Friday, mounting a 7-2 first half lead. Although the Golden Hawks staged a second half comeback with six unanswered goals, it wasn’t enough as Toronto potted two more and held on for the victory. From there, the Laurier girls were pushed into the consolation bracket where they soundly defeated the UOIT Ridgebacks 18-4 and finished up the tournament on Saturday, beating McMaster 7-6 for a consolation finals victory.
Although the 2011 season was one of disappointment, there was certainly a silver lining to the year for Orth and her team. With 10 true freshmans on the team this year, a promising rookie core is continuing to develop for the womens lacrosse team.
“The rookies are definitely stepping it up, and we will still maintain a veteran leadership.” says Orth.
This consistent development can be attributed in large part to Orth and her dedication to the sport. Orth is an active member of the Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA) and has been able to invoke a level of consistency in the Laurier lacrosse program, having coached the team for over a decade. Orth’s knack for success and development was recognized last year when she was named the 2010 OUA coach of the year. When asked what makes the program such a successful one, a program that remains competitive in the OUA year after year, Orth believes it has a lot to do with consistency.
“The continuity of our program is beneficial. We are a strong program, and a strong program attracts strong players. We also have a lot of support from the school.”
Although very modest, Orth also admits that her high involvement in the sport as well as being a female coach has helped in terms of recruitment in past years.
“There aren’t a whole lot of women coaches around, so it is a little more comforting for the younger girls that we have a female coach. It also gives the parents more comfort.”
It is easy to see that the 2011 season was a surprise, and somewhat a disappointment. However, the girls still had an outstanding record and the strong foundation of the program remains stable and improving with the continued development of the promising rookie core of this team. It is safe to say that year after year the Laurier lacrosse team is in the running for the OUA championship, and the 2012 season will be no different. Until then, Orth and her girls will just have to begin to prepare for another season.