(WINDSOR, ON) – It was a tough opening weekend for the upstart Windsor Warlocks Intermediate Girls lacrosse team. Not because they lost their four games, but because they were so close to winning them.
The Warlocks ladies opened their season with a doubleheader in Sarnia on May 14 against the hometown Pacers. The Warlocks dropped the games 4-2 and 6-2 against a well-oiled Sarnia club.
In the morning game, Bridget Folk got the ball rolling with a snipe for the Pacers with five minutes remaining in the opening frame. Windsor’s Karlie Kitzul answered back late in the period to take a 1-all tie into the first break.
Sarnia started at it early again in the middle stanza, belting a shot past Warlocks’ goalie Megan Land to take the lead. Later, with two minutes to go, Folk snatched her second of the game to extend the Pacers’ lead.
There was a lot of back-and-forth in the final frame, but with less than five minutes to play Jaime Cunningham cut the lead to a single to give the Warlocks a chance. The Pacers put the breaks on that idea quickly, when Phoebe Pickle sniped a shot at three-minutes even to make the score 4-2.
Jada Henry was the winning goalie, while Land was in tough against an aggressive Sarnia team.
The more experienced home side was ready for the afternoon rubber match.
Once again, Folk led the charge for her Pacers, scoring halfway through the first period. The Warlocks answered back before the period could expire, when Mackenzie Cachilas found the back of the net for her first goal of the season.
Kirsten Le Clair got the call in net for Windsor. Despite a strong first for the local girls, the second was a shooting gallery for their opponents. Sarnia managed three goals in the middle frame, a single marker from Naomi Parsons, followed by a pair from Pickle to take a commanding 4-1 lead into the final stanza. Henry picked up the shutout period for her Pacers.
Karley Roache scored early in the third, giving Sarnia a 4-goal spread. Cunningham responded late for Windsor, but the local girls could not get their feet on stable ground and mount a comeback.
Sunday morning, the Warlocks were back in action, hosting the London Blue Devils.
In front of an energetic Windsor crowd, the Warlocks were very evenly matched with their opponents from up the 401.
The first frame remained scoreless, until on the final possession Kitzul slammed home a buzzer beater to take a 1-0 lead.
The second period belonged to London’s JJ Van Goozen, who sniped a pair to take a lead that the Blue Devils would never relinquish.
In the final slate, London would increase their lead to 3-1 on an early goal from Shawna Albert. Cunningham would respond for the Warlocks, but it would not be enough as the Blue Devils took the game 3-2.
Land and the Blue Devils’ Kendra Hill would each take home a shutout period for their teams.
The afternoon event was yet another low scoring goalies’ duel.
The opening frame was all zeros until the final three minutes when London’s Van Goozen broke the stalemate.
Van Goozen struck again early in the middle stretch, but the Warlocks started clawing back minutes later with a snipe from Cunningham. Brittany Anwyll extended the lead midway through the period, but not to be deterred, Cunningham charged back again to cut the lead to one with only 23 seconds remaining.
London’s Dakota Cornelius and Le Clair each pitched shutout innings in the final frame and London took the game by a 3-2 score. The third was Cornelius’s second blanked period of the game.
Coach Lloyd Land was very optimistic about the first weekend of Girls’ Intermediate lacrosse in Windsor’s history.
“The girls are making a huge jump from midget to intermediate [this season, when playing] twenty-one-year-old women [when] our oldest is 18 with most being 17,” Land said. “I thought they played great. Not only [did they] accept the more physical style of play, but [they] took it to London especially. Goaltending was outstanding and kept us in the games with Megan Land and Kirsten LeClaire alternating. Defence was very impressive and physical, [but our] offense will come. [We] have to work on getting more shots. [Also, it is] not as easy to go through people in Intermediate. Have to move the ball and trust the offense.”
The future looks good for the girls.
“They have heart and toughness and any coach will tell you they can work with that,” Land concluded.
The Warlocks were back in action on May 21, hosting the Wallaceburg Griffins. Windsor will visit the Griffins for a doubleheader on June 5, before returning home for another doubleheader, June 12, playing host to the Pacers at noon and 3:00pm.