For the first time in more than seven years, the EDSS’s girls’ field hockey team made the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletic Association (WCSSAA) playoffs. Last week, the Lady Lancers went head-to-head with the WCI Vikings in the opening round and pulled through with a narrow 2-1 lead. Tuesday, the team fell to Bluevale Collegiate, but the season is still alive.
“The girls knew going into it that even though we were in sixth and the team we were playing was in third, that it was not a done deal, we had a very good chance,” said coach Lisa Douglas of the October 12 start to the playoffs.
“We had strategized before the game about what sorts of goals and what the game plan would be for the game and they were able to execute and not give up. It was amazing.”
The game might have gone drastically differently for the Lancers when, at one point, the ball got behind the Elmira goalie and at the last second was swept away from the net by Shae Martin.
“It was unbelievable! Shae Martin: we joked about her being our backup goalie,” laughed Douglas. “She’s never played net, but she saved that – that could have totally changed the whole outcome of the game, for sure.”
The season only recently started for the Lancers, with their first game being played just two weeks into the start of the school year, but already the team is in fighting form. Douglas credits the mix of new and returning players in the team, ranging from Grades 9 to 12, being able to work together, and their dedication to the team.
“Our veterans are good at taking the rookies under their wing and passing their skills and knowledge on. I think our rookies are willing to learn and try to do better. We definitely have a competitive spirit on the team this year and the dedication is really good. If they’re there and they’re coming to practice and they’re ready to work, they’re going to see improvement, and we’ve definitely seen that happen.”
Going into the semi-finals on Tuesday, Douglas said the girls were “pumped.” The match pitted the Lady Lancers against BCI Knights; and even though the Lancers ultimately fell 4-0 to the competition, the team will still have a shot at playing in the Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Association (CWOSSA) championship through the qualifying match today (Thursday).
Douglas notes that playing in the Waterloo county league gives the Lancers a very powerful advantage over other Ontario teams.
“Our league tends to be very competitive. … We have so many games in our season because we play doubleheaders. So compared to other counties we would have significantly greater number of games than other counties,” Douglas noted.