The champs are back.
The 2012 women’s lacrosse team is looking ahead to another prosperous season atop the Ontario University Athletics standings. With stiff competition lurking in the form of Queen’s, Laurier and Guelph, the Mustangs must remain focused to ensure they repeat as OUA champions come October.
After winning the OUA’s last season, the team has reloaded with a wealth of new recruits and a solid core of returning veterans to anchor another championship run.
“We have been fortunate to get outstanding freshmen over the past four years and this year is no exception. Adding to our veteran squad will be Tawnie Johnson, Tasha MacDonald and Michelle Farrugia along with some excellent adds from across Ontario,” David Hastings, Mustangs head coach, said.
Incoming freshmen will be looking to steal the show, but watch for break out performances from the trio of Rebecca Watson, Maddison Crowther and Tenyka Snider.
“They have always been very strong players, but this year they could take it to a very high level,” Hastings said.
The team will again be built from the net out with the return of reigning OUA all-star goaltender Caitlin Mancuso.
“After winning the OUA’s and going undefeated in regular season play last year, we set the bar high. This season we hope to achieve the same success we did last year and with the group of girls we have, I believe we can do it,” Mancuso said.
Veteran presence continues in the other three zones of the field —defence, midfield and attack—with notable returnees including Lauren Crape, Emmi Morris and Kristen Stafford.
“With a few weeks of training hard with conditioning camp and tryouts under our belt, the team is anxious to start off the season. We are hoping to come out with some big wins to build up momentum for the season,” Crape said.
The team cemented its status as a championship contender with a 5-0 showing at the Toronto Earlybird Tournament last Sunday. The Mustangs were victorious on Sunday, but know they can’t let their guard down in the ultra-competitive OUA.
This upcoming weekend consists of the Mustangs’ entire home schedule with games against McMaster, Laurier and Brock before an eight game road trip. A trip of this nature is common in lacrosse circles and the team is prepared for the challenge.
“There’s a lot of practicing and team bonding involved. Team chemistry is very important and meshing well on the field is crucial,” Morris said.
The Mustangs women’s lacrosse team is built to defend their championship and will do so on a platform of unity, commitment and determination.
“I want to finish my last year of OUA lacrosse with another OUA championship,” Morris said.