The Team Alberta U19 Women’s Field Lacrosse group is dreaming big in 2018.
After winning bronze at the 2017 Women’s Field Lacrosse Invitational National Tournament in Nova Scotia, the Albertans are hoping for a different colour this time around.
“We’re hoping to medal. We won bronze last year, looking to improve on this year,” said head coach Sarah Oor on Saturday at the Collicutt Field.
The team was in Red Deer on the weekend for their first training session of the summer, after the 18 players selected were named on May 4.
Oor said they’ll train a few times a month either in Red Deer or Lacombe until August when they’ll attend the national tournament in Calgary.
Most of the players come from Calgary and Edmonton, with the only local product being Sylvan Lake’s Erin Bryenton.
Bryenton, 19, has an extensive lacrosse resume and just recently finished her first season with the Embry-Riddle Eagles in NCAA Division II. Last season with the Eagles she recorded 26 goals and four assists in 17 games.
“We have two girls that are down playing NCAA and they’re back for the summer. We have a handful of girls that are committed to going down and playing NCAA (next year) and the rest have aspirations to do the same. So they’re all looking to play at a high level,” Oor said.
With all the high aspirations on the field, Oor said the program and women’s lacrosse is leaps and bounds ahead of where it once was.
“It’s definitely growing. Two years ago they took a team and basically anyone who tried out made it. Last year we made four or five cuts and this year we had to make 12 cuts. We’ve had a lot of girls come out and the more girls that come out, our team has just been (more) competitive every year,” she said.
“We’ve got academies in Edmonton that have lacrosse going and a great program in Calgary that’s developing some really good players too.”
The head coach added that with the continued development of talent in Alberta, it won’t be long before the national team comes calling for a few players.
“Team Alberta is more of a stepping stone for playing team Canada. In my opinion, I think we have a few girls that might make this next one if they go,” Oor added.
The U19 Women’s Field Invitational Championship runs later this summer from Aug. 17-19 in Calgary.