By: Bryan Dutot
The 2017-2018 Lancer Women’s Hockey team will be lacking finesse compared to the prior season, losing talented scorers and playmakers, but will make up for it through hard work and grit. The team must score as many “dirty” goals as possible, says Larissa Borowiec.
This year, the Lancers will be without Natalie Barrette (defense) and Erin Noseworthy (forward) who graduated from the University of Windsor. They are now playing in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) representing the Les Canadiennes de Montreal (MTL).
The Lancers also lost the talents of Jillian Rops (forward), Shawna Lesperance (forward), Sloan Kudrinko (defense) and Ingrid Sandven (goalie). The team will be without the Ontario Universities Athletics (OUA) leading goal scorer from last year, Krystin Lawrence, due to a season-ending knee injury. Lawrence was injured playing varsity soccer in the early portion of the women’s soccer season.
Lawrence scored 23 goals last season. Noseworthy, Lesperance, and Rops netted 23 collectively. The Lancers as a team only scored 68 goals. Therefore, their top four players, now no longer available to the team, accounted for nearly 70 percent of their goals scored.
“Hard work is the answer,” says Borowiec. “The team will need to work harder than usual and everyone has to produce this year.”
Ashley Maitre is a second-year defensemen and is a skater to watch this season. Maitre defended alongside Barrette last season and her skills developed significantly as a player according to her teammates.
The 2017-2018 Lancers have already exhibited hard work on the ice. All the Lancers games have been decided by a single goal or two with the Lancers coming away with their single victory against the Waterloo Warriors (W, 1-0). The Lancers also suffered preseason defeats to Waterloo (L, 0-2) and losses from both Brock (L, 1-2 OT) and Western (L, 1-2).
Although the hard work hasn’t been paid off yet on the ice, the team has been training hard off the ice in the Forge, the University of Windsor’s gym. The team welcomed new trainer Frank Jeney, who also coaches the men’s baseball club, this season to be their new strength and conditioning coach.
“Many of the players are new, or early in their careers. This means we must start from the base, build the base, strengthen the base,” Jeney explains. “Only then can we hope to move on to skill-specific speed and strength movements.”
Jeney is excited to continue to develop the Lancers and grow upon the previous workout training program from last year. The women have already witnessed improvements to the program. The program is strictly hockey oriented and lifting weights is a strong portion of the training program. The workouts are challenging but significant to help improve the team.
The hard work and grit will be the deciding factor if the Lancers are hoping playoffs. Many players from last year who produced for the team are gone. The Lancer season will showcase a new team-leading goal scorer and a new assist leader. It is a new team for the Windsor Lancers and every game will be a “battle” says, Molly Jenkins, a second-year goaltender.
The team will need to be more aggressive on the ice. Winning the battles in the corner and other small factors will be the key to success for each game this season. The team will need to be gritty, work hard on every play, skate harder, and score on as many opportunities as possible.
The team started their OUA regular season on October 21 at Nipissing and were defeated 5-0 and played their second game the following day at Laurentian losing the game 2-0. It is clear the team will need to find a way to score. The Lancers will face off against the Toronto Varsity Blues on October 27 in Windsor at the South Windsor Arena.
Working hard does not always pay off but the Lancers are ready for a new challenge this season. The team is thirsty for the “dirty” goals and ready to take on the competition of the OUA.
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