Titans 5 Warriors 2
For the first time in five years the Sherwood Park Titans weren’t favoured heading into the provincial junior women’s lacrosse championships.
The Titans, who never lost a game during their first four years in the Rocky Mountain League and the provincials, came into the 2009 championships at the Kinex in second place in the league with an 11-3 record.
But in the end that didn’t mean much as they picked up their fifth straight provincial crown with a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Warriors Sunday afternoon.
“Looking at the number of new players we had this year and the fact we finished second in the league this was definitely a rewarding victory,” said Titans head coach Norm Sanche, who took control of the Titans this season from Sean Lowe and had only three veterans on his roster. “But those three were key to our success and our leaders.”
The Titans finished the regular season just behind the Calgary Sabrecats, 11-2-1, a team they faced in their opening game of the provincials.
“We told the girls it was important to get off to a good start and we did just that beating them 15-3. From there we played with a lot of confidence,” added Sanche.
The Titans posted a 4-0 record in pool play, but had their hands full with the Warriors (2-2) in the final — at least for the first 20 minutes.
The teams were tied 2-2 after the first period with the Titans taking a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes.
Meagan Vermillion led the Titans in the final with two goals while Trish Zimmerling, Kira Nyhuis and Chelsea Cranston potted single markers. Jess Nancale and Kim Nanjoff scored for the Warriors, who got a strong performance from goaltender Colleen McManus. Kellie Courchene was in goal for the Titans.
The Sabrecats won the bronze medal with a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Cardinals, who knocked the Red Deer Riot out of the playoffs with a 5-4 overtime victory Saturday.
The Riot finished with a 1-3 record, the same as the Cardinals.
Paige Gillespie-Sweetnam, Alexis Monk, Courtney Mastell and Paige Farries scored for the Riot, who were playing with just 13 players because of injury problems.
“We had a bunch of injuries and stuff that really took its toll,” said Red Deer coach Harold Albrecht. “Girls who normally run a lot faster could not. I had four of them playing with injuries.
“We have a lot of good talent, but we don’t have a lot players.”
The Riot lost 7-5 to the Titans Saturday morning with Gillespie-Sweetnam scoring twice and Farries, Janessa Sullivan and Leah Boucher tallying once each.
• In peewee A boys’ provincial play the Red Deer Quinn Pumps dropped an 8-5 decision to the Edmonton Blues in the final after posting a 4-0 record in round-robin play.