It has been a historic season for lacrosse in Chilliwack, with the introduction of an all-girls team.
The Chilliwack Mustangs started the season as underdogs. With just nine girls on the team, most with no prior experience, the team took its lumps.
“We were playing against opponents that had 16-plus players and years of experience behind them,” said team manager Brieanne Causton. “Obviously, our little team was destroyed by these bigger and more more experienced associations.
“But, over the last few weeks we had more girls join up and finally our players starting to get into a groove.”
Keeping in mind that many of the girls had never even held a lacrosse stick before the spring, it was amazing when Grace Duncan scored five goals in a single game.
All of the girls started to find a role.
Parson Beiderwieden joined Duncan as one of the team’s top goal scorers, and frustrated foes with her two-way play. Olivia Causton ploughed through foes and scored goals like a veteran and a once shy and timid girl like Jaikalee Peters became a force on the floor.
Brenna Taylor morphed into a top-level offensive player with a ton of skill while Chelsie Hawryluk emerged as the ultimate defensive player, fearlessly challenging players twice her size.
Maeve Dodd-Laderoute did everything she was asked to, playing goalie, defence and forward.
Even Avery Rahe, and Leilani Klynsoon, players called up from tyke, found a way to make an impact.
“Don’t let their size fool you,” Causton cautioned. “Those girls are little, but they are fierce.”
When they were losing by scores of 11-0 and 15-1, it would have been easy to get discouraged, but Daphne Taylor never lost her enthusiasm. Dubbed ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ she was energetic and positive no matter what was happening.
Vayda Hamel was the ultimate team player, pouring her heard out every game, and doing it with a smile.
As the season neared a close, the Mustangs broke through with back to back wins. Goalie Makinlee Johnston backstopped her team to victories over Langley (4-2 and 5-4).
With the wins came confidence.
Already the fastest player on the floor, Mya ‘Flash’ Marston flew up and down the floor like a bolt of lighting.
Danika Haviland and Samantha MacDonald drove opponents to distraction with fearless physical play.
“Throughout our trials and tribulations as a brand new team, our girls never gave up,” Causton said. “They poured their blood, sweat and tears out on the floor (literally), and the coaches and parents were just beaming with pride after every game.
“Our players have proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with, and they are here to stay.”
With so much momentum, the girls are now hoping to field a field-lacrosse team in the fall, and have even more girls playing next spring.
Anyone who is interested in playing can get more info online at chilliwacklacrosse.com.