Lacrosse season has barely started in Peterborough and the Lakers minor lacrosse association is already collecting getting recognition.
Five members of the Laker’s Midget girl’s box lacrosse team have been selected to join coaches Mark Crough and Joey Hiltz to represent Ontario at the Minor Lacrosse National Championships this summer in Vancouver, BC. Lisa Hiltz will be taking on the role of general manager for the team.
Rookie provincial team member Kelsey D’Alto joins sophomore members Hayley Bartlett and Erica Evans and third year players Jocelyne Lemay and Lexie Kinmond on the 2012 provincial squad. Evans was a member of last season’s Ontario Midget girl’s box lacrosse team while Lemay and Kinmond will be looking to three-peat as national champions with the Bantam team.
Two weeks ago Saturday, the team mates faced off against 26 of the best female box lacrosse players in the province in the team’s final high intensity try out to make the 20 player roster. Once the training session was complete, the coaches didn’t waste time notifying players of the results. In all 18 players and two goalies were selected that day to make the trip out west.
“I’m pretty excited,” stated D’Alto. “It feels good to representing Ontario.”
This was the 16 year olds second time trying out for the provincial team and although it was difficult to wipe the smile off her face upon hearing of her selection, D’Alto had her game face back in place when considering what she’ll take in from this opportunity.
“I think I’ll learn a lot more skills and gain some valuable experience,” D’Alto commented after her Lakers practice earlier in the week.
Coach Crough will be bench boss for the team for the second straight year and although he knows he has a solid squad taking the field, he knows that the only thing harder than winning a championship is defending one.
“We’ve got a strong, well rounded team,” said Crough. “We’re pretty even at both ends of the floor”
This year’s championship will see a change in structure as two of the teams that competed last season won’t make the trp. The Atlantic regions team and the Iroquois First Nation team will not be competing this year, leaving finalists British Columbia and Alberta to battle Ontario for top honours.
“It’s usually BC and Ontario in the final,” commented Crough. “It will be interesting to see what happens.”
As for what’s next in the process, D’Alto and her team mates aren’t sure yet. The team is so newly made and none of the other provincial teams have been finalized yet so training schedules and travel arrangements haven’t been set as of yet.
Until then the Lakers will focus on their upcoming season and opening match against Whitby this coming Monday, here in Peterborough.