Ridge Meadows Burrards U12-1 team for girls’ field lacrosse, bagged gold, followed by the U12-2 team taking silver at the BC Provincial Championship held in Maple Ridge last weekend.
The Ridge teams played alongside ten other teams who attended the championship held over the March 4 weekend and the teams were split into tier 1 and 2.
Head coach Andrew Kerr told The News that the girls had been showing a lot of confidence as the season progressed this year and played really well in these games over the weekend.
“The team really came together this season, the most impressive thing was how well all the girls got along and enjoyed playing with each other. I realised around Christmas that this team was doing something special and had a chance to do well at the Provincials, maybe even win it all, but I wasn’t going to put any pressure on them, if they did their best, that was the main thing,” he said.
On Friday night, the girls played in Tier 1 and were matched against the other Ridge Meadows team.
“Approximately 150 spectators attended a very intense game under the lights. There were cow bells, cheering and screaming from the fans, which made it difficult for the timekeeper and scorekeeper to hear the Officials. It was a tight game and Ridge 2 came out on top with 5-2,” he said.
Kerr added that Tmira Sirovyak played excellent in goal, Charlie Kallin was declared the MVP for Ridge 2, and strong games were also had by Tylana Beitel, Aisling Kerr, Sydney Hamilton, Paige Downey, and Caitlyn Johansen who were key on winning draws and getting loose balls.
Saturday morning, while the girls lost a back and forth match to the top ranked team Coquitlam 2 with an 8-5 score, there was some positive play and great work ethic from Sydney Hamilton, Josephine Paterson, Olivia Macintyre, & Charlotte McNabb, according to Kerr. Isabella Hutchinson was the game MVP.
“The afternoon matchup was against a feisty PoCo team, who pushed the team hard,” said Kerr.
Ridge was down by two goals with about five minutes on the clock, when Downey scored twice to tie the score. Beitel, Kerr & Kallin then hooked up on a fast break to take the lead 6-5 and McIntyre, Downey and Johansen controlled the ball to run down the clock and book the team’s ticket into the semi-finals.
“Strong play was also seen from Presely Morrison, Allie Forster, and Paterson was solid in goal. Harper Holtslag who was frustratingly excluded from playing the tournament was the loudest and strongest supporter, willing the team to victory from the sidelines,” he said, adding that Beitel was announced the MVP of the match.
Unknown to the team at the time, had they lost to PoCo, not only would they have been knocked out of the tournament, but with a unique Pool structure, the other Ridge team would have also been knocked out, explained Kerr.
In the semi-final, Ridge 2 had a draw with Coquitlam 2 again, and the Coquitlam team was 3-0 in the tournament until then, looking to head to the Gold medal.
“With a slight change in tactics, which saw Sirovyak back in the net for Ridge, and some line shuffling, the Burrards came out on fire. Kallin won the opening draw to Aisling Kerr, who set up Beitel for the opening goal about 90 seconds into the match,” he said, adding that while it was back and forth, Ridge lead the whole way.
“With Abigail O’Connor and Grace Pahl being absolute towers on defence and shutting down the high scoring Adanacs attack, it allowed the team to play with confidence, and control the midfield and offensive zones. Downey was a machine on draws and loose balls, along with McIntyre and Johansen they won every key battle they were in. Aisling Kerr scored a late goal on a free shot after taking a hard hit, then picked off a pass with two minutes to go which killed any momentum that Coquitlam may have had,” said the head coach proudly.
Downey was MVP of the game.
The finals was between the two Ridge Meadows teams, and while it was a close game, the strong play of Sirovyak in goal, activating as an extra defender at times, and the defence of O’Connor, Pahl and Hamilton combined with offence from Beitel, Kallin, Mactintyre, Johansen, Downey, Paterson and Kerr proved too much for Ridge 1, said the coach.
Ridge 2 took the victory 7-3. Sirovyak was declared the game MVP, Tylana Beitel was named Tournament MVP, and Abigail O’Conner was the Warrior Fair Play winner.
“The season starts in September we had a mix of new and more experienced players, they started off a bit slow and tentative as Women’s Field Lacrosse has many rules and a lot of nuances,” said Kerr, “As the season progressed so did the girls confidence, they climbed the league table and finished fourth, going undefeated from December.”
Kerr also noted that this wouldn’t have been possible without the team’s assistant coaches, Marc Downey, Alex Paterson, and Jason Sinclair.
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