With only two practices under their belts and a third of their roster in their first season, it was easy to see why the Red Deer Rage got off to a slow start to the Rocky Mountain Senior Ladies’ Lacrosse League regular season.
“I have several new girls, who were playing for the first time,” said Rage head coach Harold Albrecht, following a 14-1 loss to the Edmonton Saints junior team at the Kinex Friday.
“They’re trying to figure out the nuances of the game, which will take a little time, but they seem to be picking it up quickly,” he said.
“Tonight for example we had a rough first period (trailing 7-0), but were much better in the second and third.
“The thing is the girls seem to enjoy it.”
The Rage do learn quickly as they turned around and played Sunday in Calgary, losing 9-4 to the junior Cardinals.
Albrecht, who is in his 30th season with the Red Deer Lacrosse Association and 10th with the women’s program, does have several veterans, including Deanna Hume, Janelle and Janessa Sullivan, Leah Boucher and Sam Lissack.
“They have to be our leaders and right now it’s hard for them as the new girls don’t get up on the attack as quickly as they expect,” said Albrecht. “But that’s something we’ll work on and besides early on we’re concentrating more on defence than offence. We want to keep the score down.”
Albrecht also has three netminders in Lorae Couchman, Riley Acciaroli and Katey Cardswell, who played boys’ lacrosse last year.
“That’s nice, it’s the first time I’ve ever had three goaltenders. It allows me a chance to move them around. Last year Lorae was the only goalie we had and she was a rookie.”
Jessica Albrecht will also add experience to the roster once she recovers from an injury, while Amanda Waters, Jennifer Clarkson and Sam Sperber are also veterans.
Dannell Aebly, Sandra Bibby and Jane Rider are in their second year with Deanna Hall, Skeeter Dixon, Sydney Winsnes, Janis O’Neill, Audrey Thorhauser and Carrie Galt rookies.
Albrecht has 21 players on his roster, a big difference from last season, when the Rage struggled with numbers.
“That’s nice as it gives us enough players to field a team, even when some can’t make it out. We do have mothers and girls who are working, so they can’t be out all the time. As well we have a number of younger players, who are enjoying it and will come back for several years and hopefully they bring a few others out. We can teach them the game.”
Hume scored the Rage’s lone goal against the Saints, who are one of the top junior teams in the province.
Scoring from the Cardinals’ game was unavailable.”
The Rage are one of three senior teams in the province and play in a league with the five junior teams.
The Rage return to action Friday then they host the Sherwood Park Titans at 9 p.m. at the Kinex.
• Tucker Dougherty fired five goals to lead the Lacoka Locos to a 16-12 win over the Calgary Wranglers in junior B tier 2 action Saturday.
Dustin Bell sniped four goals and added nine assists for the winners, who got three goals from Logan Elliott and one from each of Brennon Elder, Carson Barnes, Tony Kozak and Connor Shantz.
• The host Blackfalds Silverbacks dumped the visiting Edmonton/Spruce Grove Tomahawks 16-10 in senior C men’s lacrosse action Saturday. Details were unavailable.