Raiders get revenge on Titans

Lacrosse: Okotoks wins second Midget provincial title in three years

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 09, 2014 12:58 pm

The Okotoks Raiders won the Alberta Midget girls lacrosse championship when they beat the Sherwood Park Titans 11-4 in the final. The Raiders finished the 2014 season undefeated in league and provincial play.
The Okotoks Raiders won the Alberta Midget girls lacrosse championship when they beat the Sherwood Park Titans 11-4 in the final. The Raiders finished the 2014 season undefeated in league and provincial play.
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Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

The Okotoks Raiders routed the Sherwood Park Titans 11-4 in the Midget Girls Tier III provincial final Sunday in Beaumont — avenging a loss some 12 months ago.

The Titans handed the Raiders their only loss of the season in 2013 in the provincial final.

“They are by far the best competition we have played this year and because we lost to them last year, there is definitely a bit of a rivalry,” said the Raiders Malia Schneider. “And we had beat them in the provincial final the year before.”

The Raiders had plenty of confidence going into the game.

They were undefeated in the Calgary District Lacrosse League regular season and swept through the playoffs to win the league title.

But the Titans didn’t fizzle at the feet of the Raiders. Okotoks held a slim 4-3 lead after the first period on goals by Schneider, Julia Porter, Ally Bymak and Katie McKinstry.

“We knew we had to stop their best player and that we weren’t playing our best D,” Schneider said. “The feeling among us was really intense because we know lacrosse can change so easily.”

It did change.

The Raiders’ offence kicked into high gear, while the Titans were grounded in the second period. That Okotoks’ intensity might have been calmed a little that second trip to the dressing room as the Raiders scored six unanswered goals to take a 10-3 lead after 40 minutes.

“We shutdown their best player and we got inside of their heads and they took some bad penalties,” Schneider said. “We took advantage of our powerplays and scored off of them.”

The two teams would exchange goals in the third period to make the final 11-4 — and the title coming back to Okotoks.

Bymak admitted there were some jitters after the first period.

“We just set our minds to it and focused and what we needed to do,” Bymak said. “After the first period, we just took a breath and then we destroyed them.”

Bymak was named the MVP of the final with three goals and four assists. Porter had two goals and three assist in the final. McKinstry had a pair of markers and Breanne Trottier, an affiliate player, had a goal and three helpers. Schneider finished with two goals and Kristina Piche also beat the Titans goalie.

While the Raiders’ offence was kicking into high gear, their last line of defence was played near shutout goal in the last 40 minutes.

“I don’t think our defence was playing the best and and I had a bad (first) period” said Perry.

“I was nervous, but after that I settled down.”

Opponents haven’t seen the last of Perry. She is a junior high school student and has a full Midget career ahead of her.

Raiders coach Clint Bymak said it was a matter of his squad playing like they know how in the final 40 minutes.

“We responded incredibly after the first period intermission where I said to go out there and play Raider lacrosse,” he said. “Defence wins championships and we have the best defence in the league.”

The Raiders had beaten the Titans in the opening game of the tournament. They then beat the Rams and the Calgary Axemen to earn a rematch with the Titans. Clint Bymak will have several Raiders on his roster when he coaches Team Alberta at nationals in Whitby, ON. in August.


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