Both Mid Island Lightning field lacrosse teams came up short in their bids for the Vancouver Island championship last weekend and are now focused on the provincial championships.
The U18 Lightning lost 16-8 to Nanaimo in Nanaimo last Saturday, while the U15 Lightning fell 16-4 to Pacific Rim.
Mid Island opened the scoring less than a minute into in the U18 Island final. That was the only time the Lightning held the lead, but they kept the score close until they ran out of steam in the fourth quarter.
Jacob Taylor scored three times and added an assist, Kyle Page and Parker Teufel had two each, and U15 call-up Kurtis Smith scored once. Goalie Brendon McDill held his team in the game until Nanaimo finally pulled away in the final quarter.
As Island finalists, the U18 Lightning had already qualified for the provincial championships at UVic, beginning Feb. 9.
U15 head coach Les Thibedeau missed his team’s game as he and U18 bench boss Bill Sanderson attended a coaching seminar on the Mainland, but he had been briefed about the outcome.
“Some of our defence was lacking,” he said. “Offensively, it was hard. They came at us hard like we knew they would.”
Pac Rim is a tier 2 team like Mid Island, but all the players attend the lacrosse academy at Claremont Secondary. The less-experienced Lightning roster includes eight players who could be playing at the U13 level.
“The score was better than I thought it would be,” Thibedeau said. “It was a lot better than the last time we played them. The boys played hard.”
Like the U18 Lightning, the U15s drew first blood in their Island final.
“We scored first, which was great,” Thibedeau said. “I think we caught them off guard.”
The U15 Lightning are headed for provincials in Victoria, the same weekend as the U18 tournament, and Thibedeau is optimistic.
“With how we played against Pac Rim, we’re going in with the expectation of coming away with a medal,” he said.