All three Cowichan novice teams came home with medals from the Travis Bateman Memorial Lacrosse Tournament in Langford earlier this month.
The novice B North Cowichan Thunder won gold in the boys tournament, with the novice B South Thunder claiming the bronze medal. Cowichan also took bronze in the girls division.
The Cowichan North team beat Juan de Fuca B1 7-2 in the championship final on May 7 after upending Langley 9-2 in their semifinal. It nearly ended up being an all-Cowichan final, but the JDF B1 team managed to edge by Cowichan South 7-6 in the other semi.
In pool play, the Cowichan South team lost a heartbreaker to Langley, giving up three goals in the last three minutes, but came back to win their last round-robin game to reach the semis. The narrow loss to JDF B1 sent Cowichan South to the bronze-medal match, where they once again faced Langley.
“The team fought hard and once we got up 2-1 the boys never looked back, holding the lead until the last possession,” coach Chris Claxton said. “We ended the game by holding the ball back behind our own net to run down the 30.”
Standout players for Cowichan South included offensive star Lucas Daniels and tough checker Hagan Purinton.
The Cowichan novice girls started the tournament against Juan de Fuca, with Sada Bennefield winning Player of the Match honours and Gabby Joe-Thomas receiving the Digger Award. Brynn Williams led the Thunder with two goals against Burnaby and was awarded Player of the Match, while goalie Paige Gallaugher took the Digger Award.
The Thunder’s last game was a semifinal loss to Juan de Fuca, with Player of the Match going to Paisley Hildabrandt and the Digger Award going to Chloe Pyne-Mercier. The team may have been finished at that point, but it wasn’t the end for all the players, some of whom signed on to help Burnaby in the final.
“As it was the first time a female team from the Mainland has attempted travel to the Island for a tournament, players from each Island team joined their roster to get some extra floor time and add to the tournament competition,” Cowichan coach Naomi Walser said.
Among the Cowichan players who chipped in for Burnaby was Ryley Gallaugher, who received the Digger Award for the final.