In the opening game of their season the Brock University women’s Lacrosse team fell to the Western Mustangs by a score of 11-6.
The Badgers came out with first-game jitters but still saw strong performances from Jill Webster, Eryn Brown, and the always-consistent Lindsey Highfield.
Numerous passing gaffes interrupted what seemed to be promising offensive attacks, and it was only when Highfield or Webster made a fantastic run could there be some sustained offensive pressure. The Badgers also conceded the midfield to Western and ran down the wings straight into opposing traps, playing right into the Mustang game-plan.
Ball movement left much to be desired and there were numerous instances where Badgers players were caught lugging the ball around for more than a minute. Despite calls from Coach Alison Phillips, many Badger players struggled to move into open space.
Lindsey Highfield had a great day stimulating ball movement and offensive pressure but could not sustain the offense on her own. Her valient effort led to an unassisted goal with a snipe top-shelf, and adding in on defense with a great interception to save a goal.
Brock simply looked outworked by Western after constant runs of play with Mustangs double, triple, even quadruple-team pressures and no support from teammates.
However, after a goal late into the first half by Victoria Halliday (assisted by Eryn Brown), a savvy timeout reenergized the Badgers, and Eryn Brown came out with two goals, one assisted by Highfield and the other unassisted.
The Badgers would go into halftime tied at four but that is as close as the game would be. With five goals in 13 minutes to start the second half, the Badgers coaching staff finally took a timeout after a called-out switch by Webster — with no response from her teammates — led to the ninth goal of the game for the Mustangs.
In the second game of the day against the Guelph Gryphons, and already the team’s final home game due to an odd scheduling quirk, the Badgers showcased their fighting spirit by responding with a resounding 14-8 win.
Goalkeeper Ally Godin also had a superb day with some spectacular saves and a strong presence in net, bolstered by another strong performance from Webster who added in two goals.
Freshman recruit Emma Mete had a dream debut notching four goals, “This was a fantastic way to start off our season, a full team effort,” she said.
Coach Phillips admitted that the basics needed to be improved after the showing against Western. When asked about how to repeat the showing against Guelph and avoid their performance against Western she noted that, “We got a lot of new faces and we’re definitely going to get there. Just moving the ball a little bit quicker, passing, catching consistently,” these are the things that must be worked on.
Moving ahead, coach Phillips is optimistic for the future. “We start the season this way, and that’s all right. We saw a lot of really great things, and we’re going to continue to see great things.
The Badgers resume play next weekend against Laurier and McMaster on Sunday.