The shorthanded Red Deer Rage suffered a 14-3 defeat against the Beaumont Bandits at the Kinex on Saturday after winning its season opener last week.
Assistant coach Janessa Sullivan said the team ran out of steam with just four spares, and having just a couple of extra players can make a difference.
“We also had a way better offensive game last week as well,” said Sullivan. “We were running through and getting better shots closer to the net, which helps a lot. That didn’t quite happen in this game.”
In just the second game of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League senior ladies season, the loss came with a lot of learning, said Sullivan.
Sullivan said her team slowly started to tire out but still managed to find the mark a few times after keeping the contest close in the first period at 2-1 against the Bandits.
“We ran out of gas halfway through the second. Pushed through it and got a few more goals,” she said.
“Just conserve energy and keep your head up. Definitely falls apart in the defensive zone where if you’re not sticking with your man and letting them through, that’s where the shots are happening and the goals are happening.”
Sandra Bibby, one of the more experienced players on the Rage, said it was a tough afternoon but in the small five-team RMLL senior ladies circuit, all the teams are pretty close.
Bibby, 43, used to be heavily involved in rugby, but after making the move to Red Deer from Edmonton, made the switch to lacrosse and made some lifelong friends.
She said the competitiveness of the game, regardless of skill level, and the friendships was what drew her to the sport.
“I love the athleticism. I love that anyone still can play,” she said.
“You can see the way the teams are set. You have girls of all different sizes and skill levels. I still like playing on a team that could be a professional athlete, we do have two girls who played in the NCAA, but we also have lacrosse moms and girls just starting out.”
Sullivan said they’re trying to infuse the team with young talent this year, but Bibby admitted that’s been tough without a junior team in Red Deer or much of a feeder system to build on.
“We had a lot of competition for rugby and soccer for lacrosse girls. All teams this year seem to be struggling with short benches,” Bibby added.
“Because Red Deer is a smaller centre than Edmonton and Calgary, we have draft boundaries and we can only take girls from certain areas. We also have the challenge of not having a junior team here or in the surrounding areas.”
The Rage season is a short one, starting at the end of April and finishing in July. They encourage fans to come check out the sport and new players as well join the mix.
“We’re happy to have anybody come out. We have a lot of moms and older players. I came from a rugby background, so this is my second sport,” Bibby said.
The next Rage home game is May 27 against the Rocky View Attack.