The Red Deer Rage, as head coach Harold Albrecht joked Sunday, were perfect last year — as in oh-and-16.
The Rage were involved in a series of close games during the 2014 Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League senior women’s season, but failed to nail down a single win.
A year later, the Red Deer squad is off to a 0-3 start, although Albrecht sees as many wins as losses on this season’s schedule. The Rage opened with a 13-4 loss to the junior Calgary Cardinals, then fell 6-5 to the Edmonton Bandits and 6-0 Sunday to the visiting Calgary Cougars at the Kinex.
Still, Albrecht has yet to experience a sense of hopelessness, and in fact was tickled with his club’s performance in their season-opening 13-4 setback.
“That first game didn’t really dictate what we did. We had six crappy goals against, where our goalie lost it (ball) in her feet and it rolled across the line,” Albrecht said following Sunday’s defeat. “I also have at least eight girls who had never played the game before.”
While he was happy with his club’s defensive play despite surrendering 13 goals, Albrecht admitted his charges were that much better in Friday’s loss to the host Bandits.
“We were almost flawless on defence,” said the coach.
As for Sunday’s setback . . .
“The team we played today is very good. They’ve been together since juniors and that’s their big thing,” said Albrecht. “I warned the girls that there would be a lot of crosses and as soon as the girls crossed they were going to be rewarded, so be ready with the quick stick and hurt them.”
It didn’t happen Sunday, but Albrecht sees better days ahead.
“We have a brand new goalie from Sherwood Park,” said the bench boss, in reference to Jillian Andruik. “Thank God she’s here, she’s a hell of a goalie.
“And my other new girls are really stepping up well. When they started, their big role was defence, not so much offensive, and they all played a great game today.”
Last year’s record, Albrecht said, was partly due to the fact that he lost four key players from the 2013 team.
“And I’ve got some of those girls back this year,” he said, referring to the likes of Janessa Sullivan, Paige Sweetnam and Leah Boucher. “We also had four goalies last year and I had to find time for all of them.
“This year we are down to two goalies. Lorae Couchman is our back-up and she also plays out.”
Albrecht is confident his squad will find the win column sooner than later.
“Our new girls are really understanding their roles now, whereas they were totally lost during the first game,” said the coach. “They were like lost sheep, looking around . . . they didn’t know what to do, who to cover.
“Now that they are more sound defensively, we can start working on ball control and other things.”
The Titans got two goals from each of Boucher and Janelle Sullivan and a single courtesy of Sandra Bibby in Friday’s loss to the Bandits.
• The Blackfalds Silverbacks, with Harry Thompson netting four goals and adding two assists, thumped the host Vermilion Rage 18-5 in senior C men’s play Sunday.
Justin Kinnear scored three goals and added a single helper for the ‘Backs, while Luke Flett had three goals and two assists and Tyler McRobbie scored twice and picked up three helpers. Myles Nadon connected twice and chipped in with two assists, and Bradon Kripps, Dylon Cardinal, Andrew Munden and Troy Klaus also tallied. Cardinal and Munden each added three assists, with Klaus picking up a pair. Goaltender Collin Lampart got the win in his first game in over 14 years.
On Saturday, the Silverbacks downed the Rage 14-4 as McRobbie, Klaus and Shandi Werenka each tallied twice and Flett, Kinnear, Nadon, Ray Williams, Kevin Brown, David Wilton, Bryan Watts and Kripps also scored. Chris Davis was the winning netminder.
• The Lacoka Locos downed the visiting Okotoks Ice 7-4 in junior B tier 2 action Saturday as Dustin Bell scored twice and Cooper Smyth, Jordan Smyth, Carson Barnes, Dylan Rowley and Dakota Haarsad also tallied.
The Locos were 20-5 losers to the host Lethbridge Barriducas Sunday.