By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
One of the province’s largest women’s lacrosse tournaments is coming to Oshawa this year.
The Ontario Tech University Ridgebacks’ women’s lacrosse team will be the centre of attention as they host the Ontario University Athletics’ Championship later this month.
The tournament, which takes place from Oct. 18 to Oct. 20, will be played at Vaso’s Field near the Ontario Tech campus.
It will feature the top university women’s lacrosse teams from across Ontario.
Tessa Lam, assistant coach for the Ridgebacks, says the coaching staff is feeling confident heading into the tournament.
“We’re really excited,” she says. “We have home advantage, so our girls can go home between games and rest up.”
She also notes it’s an advantage the team is hosting because they are very familiar with their home turf.
“We have the lines and the spacing that we’re comfortable with and we’re used to playing on,” she explains.
Lam says she hopes the team can find the motivation within themselves to excel beyond expectations.
“We have set expectations as a coaching staff, but there’s only so much we can tell them, they have to find it within themselves to do the rest,” says Lam.
Nicole Martindale, a midfielder on the team, says the players are excited.
“This is one of the first years that we have this home field, and the fact that we’re going to have home field advantage for the tournament has everyone super excited,” says Martindale.
She says the team is also excited because home field advantage means their friends, family and the community can come out and watch women’s lacrosse, noting that is something “you don’t see very often.”
In fact, both Lam and Martindale expect a large turnout from the community.
“The Lady Blue Knights organization are putting out reminders for people that the tournament is local, so we are expecting a lot of young girls to come out and watch,” says Martindale.
Tam says the team’s goal is to earn a medal this year.
“It’s a big change for this university and our team from being in the bottom tiers last year, and now moving on up,” says Tam.
Other teams participating include last year’s champion the Queen’s Gaels, the Brock Badgers, Trent Excalibur, and more.