Considering they lost in the second round of the Vancouver Island league playoffs, the Juan de Fuca bantam B1 lacrosse team has to be happy with how their season wound up.
The team squeaked into last weekend’s provincial championship tournament in Esquimalt by beating the other Juan de Fuca bantam squad in a one-game playoff. Then they reached the B.C. final before losing 9-5 to the Campbell River Ravens on Sunday at Archie Browning Sports Centre.
Head coach Taylor Bourne, a 19-year-old minor lacrosse veteran who coaches the B1 squad with younger brothers Spencer and Landyn, along with Jake Podan and goalie coach Talia Mavin, was thrilled with the result.
“We were looking like we might not make provincials,” Taylor said.
His team suffered some injuries to key players and was forced to call up three pee wee players for the playoffs. One of those players injured was goalie Jacob Mellish, who recovered from a hand injury to lead the team through its playoff run and was named most valuable and most sportsmanlike player for the provincial tournament.
“I came in thinking we were down players and that we wouldn’t do as well without them,” Bourne said. “But everybody stepped up their game, passing well and talking a lot as a team.”
Being a younger coaching group allowed Bourne and his crew to connect well with the players, who weren’t that much younger, he said.
Juan de Fuca beat Coquitlam 7-3 and Victoria 9-5, lost 6-5 in overtime to Port Coquitlam, then beat Nicola Valley 8-2 in the semifinals.
The West Shore team led the final 2-0 at one point early on.
Also at Esquimalt last weekend, Juan de Fuca’s bantam A team wound up fourth overall, losing the bronze medal game 7-5 to New Westminster after going 2-3 in the round robin.