As coaches for the Kitchener-Waterloo girls’ U11 and U15 field lacrosse teams, they’re spreading that passion, and bringing in a lot of Woolwich players with them.
Jocelyn is heading into her second year at St. Mary’s College of California this fall, while Jessica just graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University. They both received lacrosse scholarships and are now using what they’ve learned from playing at a higher level to help the younger generation in this region.
“I know a lot of the Woolwich girls who play other sports found out a lot of their friends are playing lacrosse. I think they want to come out and play with their friends. We have a really great group of girls that are out. There’s no drama, so that’s always a good thing,” Jocelyn said as to why they’re seeing an increase in Woolwich girls taking up the sport.
Kitchener United played host last weekend to a tournament of field lacrosse teams from across the province. Jocelyn explains instead of having home and away games, like most sports, every team travels to a centre for one weekend to play two games.
And last weekend was especially important because they were the last two games of the season before provincials this weekend.
“Coming into this season we were ranked last place out of all the B teams. Right now we’re third in the A teams. We’ve come a long way this year, so it’s pretty exciting for us,” Jocelyn said.
As for how they managed to make the jump up, she explains in lacrosse they start out in larger divisions. For U11, the team she coaches, they play one game against every team in their division. Then based on their record they’re split into two divisions and that’s what they play for the rest of the season.
“Lacrosse in K-W has just been really growing and it’s really exciting to see as a coach,” Jocelyn said. “I played K-W all growing up so it’s really exciting to see. The girls have improved this year and I think they work really well together. We have a lot of girls this year who also play box lacrosse, which I think helps too, just that they’ve played lacrosse before. We have a lot of returning girls and the new girls are picking it up really well. They’re just really athletic.”
She says the sport has also seen some growth locally because of her sister’s passion for it. While studying at Laurier she’s taken the time to go to schools in the area and put on clinics to introduce more girls to the sport.
And it can’t hurt to give it a try with more than 100 Division I schools offering lacrosse programs, on top of the Division II and Division III schools. And that means scholarships. Jocelyn says it was a bit of a shock when she started playing last year at St. Mary’s.
“It’s like a whole new level of competition, but it’s awesome just getting to be able to play against some of the best girls in the country,” Jocelyn said. “I’ve learned so much from my coach and from the older players on the team that I’m hoping I can bring back to the K-W organization.”
Both girls were taught how to play lacrosse in high school. Jocelyn was playing soccer at the time, but once introduced to lacrosse they both picked it up. Jocelyn notes she played hockey in the winter and lacrosse in the summer, something many hockey and ringette athletes do to keep their hand eye coordination up to snuff in the off season.
This summer they’re playing together on the senior K-W team along with coaching their own teams.
“The past two years I coached with my sister and this is my first year that I’ve taken my own team. And it’s honestly so much fun because just being able to teach it to the little girls, it just makes me wish that I had started at that young age,” Jocelyn said.
She notes a lot of people get sick of playing one sport all year and relish the summer break, but not her.
“It’s my favourite sport and I think it’s also the fact I didn’t start from such a young age,” Jocelyn said. “It’s almost like a new thing for me and I still have more to learn.”