EDSS field hockey team has plenty to cel­e­brate this year

De­spite fall­ing at re­gion­als, Lancers ex­ceeded their ex­pec­ta­tions with strong show­ing in WCSSA play

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - FAISAL ALI

STORM­ING THROUGH THE WATER­LOO County Se­condary School Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion (WCSSA) this sea­son, the EDSS field hockey squad fi­nally met their match last week.

Com­pet­ing at the Cen­tral Western On­tario Se­condary School As­so­ci­a­tion (CWOSSA) cham­pi­onship Oc­to­ber 24, the Lady Lancers saw their hopes for the pro­vin­cial ti­tle dashed af­ter a stel­lar sea­son.

At the six-team cham­pi­onship se­ries at Wood­side Park last week, the EDSS con­tin­gent was ul­ti­mately elim­i­nated in the first round by vis­i­tors from J.F. Ross in Guelph and St. Marys. St. Marys would go on to take gold at CWOSSA in a fi­nal 1-0 de­ci­sion against the run­ner-up from Blue­vale Col­le­giate In­sti­tute. Both teams will be pro­gress­ing to the provin­cials later this week.

De­spite the loss, the EDSS field hockey team has more than enough to cel­e­brate, hav­ing al­ready shat­tered their record over the last few years by qual­i­fy­ing for CWOSSA.

“We started the sea­son ex­pect­ing good things, but we ended up I would say ex­ceed­ing our ex­pec­ta­tions,” said co-coach Lisa Dou­glas shortly be­fore the CWOSSA cham­pi­onships.

“The girls dis­cov­ered early on that we were go­ing to have suc­cess, and they just kept build­ing on it. I mean, we were ex­cited about the WCSSA semi­fi­nals last year, but the fi­nals this year ... cer­tainly have given the school some­thing to be ex­cited about.”

Over the WCSSA sea­son, the EDSS team held a ver­i­ta­ble three-way tie at the top of the stand­ings with Blue­vale and Water­loo Col­le­giate In­sti­tute, with each team hold­ing an iden­ti­cal score of 11 wins, one loss and two draws. The EDSS team made it all the way past the semi­fi­nals of the WCSSA di­vi­sion be­fore fall­ing 1-0 to Blue­vale.

Though hold­ing an iden­ti­cal score with the other two top teams of the WCSSA league this year, the Lancers slipped into third place af­ter fall­ing in the tie-break­ers. Still, they had more than qual­i­fied for a spot at the CWOSSA cham­pi­onships.

“So as soon as we knew we won our semi-fi­nal game, we knew we were ad­vanc­ing to CWOSSA. We didn’t know who we were go­ing to play un­til ev­ery­thing fin­ished up,” said Dou­glas.

It was a team ef­fort get­ting as far as they did, says Dou­glas, but she cred­its the team cap­tains, Mor­gan Han­ley, a mem­ber of the U18 Team On­tario field hockey team, and Chan­tal McMur­ray with lend­ing that ex­tra drive to the other play­ers.

“I think it be­gan with Mor­gan Han­ley who is now in Grade 12. She came in Grade 9 and she kind of raised the bar right from the start, just to have play­ers around her kind of as­pire to her. She’s an amaz­ing leader as well, and I think she’s re­ally helped build the team around her,” said Dou­glas.

“I would also men­tion our other cap­tain Chan­tal McMur­ray. She came back for a fifth year, and she’s been an amaz­ing leader on the team as well. She does not play field hockey out­side of school, but our team would def­i­nitely not be the same without her.”

The top teams of CWOSSA will be com­pet­ing at the at the On­tario Fed­er­a­tion of School Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tions (OF­SAA) games, with the field hockey games on this week­end in Burling­ton.

[FAISAL ALI / THE OB­SERVER]

The EDSS field hockey team bar­reled through WCSSA be­fore fall­ing last week at the re­gion­als. Here, the Lancers bat­tle Water­loo Col­le­giate In­sti­tute to a 3-0 vic­tory in the WCSSA play­offs on Oct. 18.

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