The Rockyview Silvertips Jr. Ladies lacrosse couldn’t overcome the Sherwood Park Titans June 2, losing 13-2 at Stu Peppard Arena in Calgary.
It was the second time this season the second-place Titans beat the Silvertips by a large margin – the May 11 match-up resulted in 16-4 loss for Rockyview.
“We have 13 [first- or second-year players], and [the Titans] probably have 15 20-year-olds,” Silvertips head coach Robin Finley said. “They’re all a bit more experienced. Plus, the Titans program keeps their players together from when they start in novice or peewee, so some of those girls have probably been playing together for 12 or 13 years.”
The 11-goal loss marked the Silvertips’ sixth defeat of the season. The team is currently fifth in the seven-team Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL) junior ladies division, with a 3-6-1 record.
But for a team that includes 18 players who are either 16 or 17 years old, Finley said the Silvertips’ level of play is improving.
“Getting thumped by the Titans was a bit of a setback, but our three games before that were really good games,” he said. “From a coaching perspective, the girls are really coming together.”
While based in Airdrie, the Silvertips includes players from Rocky View County, as well as Calgary, Strathmore and as far away as Red Deer.
With a roster that is mostly new to the junior level, Finley said the opening fixtures were a tough transition.
“It was pretty rough going in the early days of the season, but I think we had three or four one-goal losses, so we were right in the games,” he said.
“We [recently] lost by three to the Calgary Cardinals, who I would say are the top team in the south. They beat us by 10 goals the first time we played them, so we’re showing really significant improvement.”
Rylynn Hills and Livi Clason, two ‘Tips rookies who have not looked at all out of place at the junior level, are both among the top-10 high-scorers in the league. Hills has found the back of the net 17 times and recorded 26 points, while Clason has notched a dozen goals and seven assists.
Another useful addition to the team, according to Finley, has been 20-year-old Annie Morrison.
“She goes to university in California on a lacrosse scholarship, and she just got back,” Finley said. “She’s played a couple of games and she’s starting to get re-acquainted with box lacrosse.”
With a 16-game regular season that lasts just nine weeks, the last part of the Silvertips’ season will be jam-packed with fixtures – the team is scheduled to play eight times in the first three weeks of June.
Rockyview will return to the Plainsmen Arena June 7 for a game with the senior Rocky View Attack at 8 p.m. Following that will be another tough task June 10, when the Silvertips takes on the unbeaten Cardinals (9-0-0) at the Stu Peppard Arena.
The team will wrap up its regular season with three home fixtures June 15, 16 and 21 against the Capital Region Saints, the Titans and the Cardinals. According to Finley, the top five teams will qualify for the RMLL playoffs.
“We’re going to be in the fight to make it, that’s for sure,” he said.