Girls will rock lacrosse box

Nanaimo Island Stone Timbermen junior women’s player Zoe Battie, front, reaches for the ball during a game last month at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Nanaimo Island Stone Timbermen junior women’s player Zoe Battie, front, reaches for the ball during a game last month at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo’s female lacrosse teams all have a chance to create the perfect ending to the season.

The Nanaimo District Lacrosse Association is hosting B.C. Lacrosse’s female provincials starting Thursday (July 19) at the Nanaimo Ice Centre and Frank Crane Arena. There are Timbermen teams entered in the peewee, bantam, midget and junior age divisions.

The city last hosted female provincials in 2007.

“Being on the home floor with the home fans, we have a lot of people out there that are rooting for us and they’ve been waiting for this to come back to Nanaimo,” said Toni Angell, captain of the Nanaimo Island Stone Supply Timbermen junior women’s team. “Hopefully their support will be behind us and it will really help us out on the floor.”

The junior women could use the cheers. The team won the B.C. championship in 2010 and took silver in 2011, but has had a tougher go of things this summer.

Victoria Kultgen, alternate captain, said the other teams used to try to win with physicality, whereas the Timbermen would overcome with skill and finesse.

“And now everybody’s starting to do that, so it’s a little bit more difficult,” Kultgen said.

Angell said the Timbermen junior women need to use their speed and pass the ball effectively. She said Nanaimo is capable of keeping up with any of the best teams in the province.

“We haven’t won as many games as we’d like to this year, but we’re starting to peak now,” she said. “It’s really tight this year. Everyone’s a good team. You can’t take a night off.”

The junior T-women won’t take any nights off. There is some extra incentive beyond the gold medals and the friends and family in the stands – this is the final year of junior for a dozen players.

“We’ve been together since we were 10, when the league started up,” said Angell. “It would be really nice just to have that last push together and take it home on the home floor.”

Kultgen said this final provincial tournament “means everything” to her.

“For your last year, you want to be at the top. If you lose, that’s the worst feeling, because you’re done. You want to win the gold.”

GAME ON … The first game for the junior women is Thursday (July 19) against Coquitlam at 6:30 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The team then faces Port Coquitlam on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the NIC and New Westminster on July 21 at 10:30 a.m. at the NIC. The provincial final is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. on July 22 at the NIC … The peewee girls start provincials Thursday with a game against Ridge Meadows at 11 a.m. at the NIC. The bantam girls face New West at 1 p.m. Thursday at Frank Crane Arena and the midget girls face Ridge at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Frank Crane Arena.

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