Lacrosse team continues solo mission
By Siobhan McLaughlin
The Western women's lacrosse team isn't a recognized varsity sport, but they're not going to let that get them down.
Lacking both a coach and financial support, the women are out to prove they are the best university lacrosse team in the province. The team is in its third year with club status, but it has yet to receive the varsity status they desire.
"Last summer we put in another proposal with all of our practice and game schedules as well as our finances," she said. "Unfortunately, we were denied again, but we'll keep trying until we get it."
In the meantime, they're busy working their way to the top, practicing hard and playing games within their league. Since the team only has club status, it is totally self-funded. The women divide the costs of traveling, equipment, refereeing and field time for tournaments between themselves and their fund-raising efforts. As for coaching, they'll take all the help they can get. For now, Mike Dinsdale, a Western graduate living in London, is doing all he can to help the team out.
"Basically they just needed somebody to help, anybody actually," Dinsdale said. "I've never coached lacrosse before, so this is all new to me. I help run practices and drills and go to the games to help out as much as possible."
Dinsdale has been most impressed with the determination of the team. "They are doing it all themselves. The team works really hard in practice and in games," he said. "They really deserve some recognition."
Things looked a little rough for the team before the season started but once an intern coach was found a sense of stability seemed to take hold of the team.
"We started in a rut this season because we didn't have a coach," veteran Adrienne Batt said. "Now we're starting to come together and the team is looking great. Of our 20 players, we have about half of our team from last year back, as well as a lot of girls who have played in clubs and on high school teams."
The team started their season with a bang last weekend, winning both their games against Laurier and Brock. In their first game of the season, Western set a fast pace against Laurier, beating their rivals 16-2.
"Last year we were ranked number one, but ended up fourth overall after losing to Laurier in the playoffs. This year we're aiming to be number one again, so it felt really great to beat Laurier," co-captain Kylie Kearns said.
In their second game against Brock, Western came from behind after two early goals from Brock to win 8-4. The scoring outburst was led by Kearns with three goals and Elphie Galanakis with two. Rookie Dawn Ladds, Jen Tingle and Kelly Proudfoot each added a single goal to help the cause. Goalie Carolyn Ellis also had a great set of games especially against Brock's aggressive offence.
"It's fun to see their hard work in practice and how well they did in competition. It's really paying off," Dinsdale said. "The key to their success is preparation, which has proven to be effective in their strong start to the season."
The team will travel to Guelph this weekend to play the Gryphons and McMaster.