It was a first period to forget for the Red Deer Rage Senior Ladies lacrosse team and it led to thoughts of what could have been in their playoff opener.
The Rage finished their Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League season on Tuesday night with a 10-2 playoff loss against the Beaumont Bandits.
Head coach Harold Albrecht was optimist about his team’s effort and said after being outscored 6-1 in the first his squad hung tough with the league’s best.
“The first period cost us. Other than that we were right with them. Second period it was 1-0 for them and the third it was 2-1. The girls played good to finish up the season,” he said.
“The girls came a long way, especially the new girls and that’s where it helped us. With our girls that have been around forever, once the new girls pick up on the defensive side, it helps out a lot.”
This season the Rage had three wins, more than the past three seasons combined. That included a 10-5 win at home to close out the regular season. Albrecht pointed to that victory as a highlight of the year and how far the new talent progressed this year.
“If they can help release our shooters, it takes the pressure off them, and they don’t have such a big role. The new girls picked that up right away,” he said of the additions.
“They talk to each other, they help each other out. The last couple of games, our last game we had a dominating win. They played almost a flawless game.”
Veteran and team captain Janelle Sullivan, who has been with the team for almost 16 years, said this year what impressed her most was how far many of the new players came along from the first practice to the end of the season.
“It’s really cool to see. Especially being around for so long you usually know what to expect in a new player and how far you expect them to come,” she said. “In particular this year, a couple of the mothers – I don’t know if they’re playing with their kids a lot, but they are phenomenal. Open floor hits and running the ball being able to hang onto it.”
Albrecht, who has been coaching the game for almost 30 years and more than a dozen of those with the senior female program, said while the league has grown over his time, he hasn’t quite seen the younger players move into the senior ranks.
“We’re not as fast to grow, a lot of our new girls are mothers. They have kids playing in lacrosse. We don’t have as many girls coming up the ranks,” he said.
“They don’t usually play past midget and if there’s nothing for the girls they drop right out. We have a really good midget team (right now). We’re waiting for them to come up so it picks us up.”
The RMLL Senior Ladies Championship continues Wednesday in Red Deer, with the final to be played on Saturday at the Kinex.