New Westminster remained on top of the girls' box lacrosse scene, winning two gold medals and five in total at the B.C. Lacrosse Association provincials in Nanaimo last weekend.
The league champion New Westminster junior 2 team dodged a couple of near season-ending bullets to win its second consecutive junior banner following a 7-4 win over Coquitlam No. 1 in the gold-medal final.
The junior 2 team made it into the provincials through the back door and then just qualified for the medal round after losses to eventual bronze medallist New West 1 and consolation finalist Nanaimo.
Hayley Parker was the hero of the preliminary round, scoring the game-winning goal in a 6-5 overtime win over Coquitlam that was enough to ultimately secure a berth in the semifinals.
In the semis, New West 2 edged New West 1 by a 21 score on Amber Hayley's game-winning goal with just 3.8 seconds remaining in the game.
In the final, New West jumped out to an early 3-0 first-period lead, but Coquitlam came back to knot things up 4-4 heading into the final 20 minutes.
"We talked about how much we didn't want to lose it. We pretty much got pumped up," said second-year New West 2 goalie Alex Lund-Murray.
"There's a lot of pressure for next year. But it feels pretty good. It's pretty unbelievable to be part of something like this."
In the junior consolation final, New West 1 easily won the bronze medal with a 7-1 win over Nanaimo.
Kirsti Shanks from Team 2 and Jessica Goodwin from Team 1 were New Westminster's junior girls' all-stars.
Selam Eyob and Sadie Gerhardt earned the fair play awards for their respective junior teams.
New Westminster teams dominated the bantam final, with Team 1 winning 8-1 over its Royal City counterpart.
The two teams also played earlier in the tournament with Team 1 eking out a 5-4 win on Haley Penner's overtime game-winner.
"We're all good friends. It was good both New West teams made the finals," said bantam fair play coach winner Tony Malcom.
"It was just one of those games, the shots we were taking were just going in," Malcom said of the championship final scoreline. "It was just the best team effort of the year."
Team 1 goalie Bianca Ballarin had a perfect slate at the provincials, allowing just 10 goals in five games played, including New West's 5-2 win over eventual bronze medallist Burnaby in the semifinals.
Katie Browning from Team 2 was named the bantam girls' MVP.
Nicole Del Grosso and stand-in goalie Sam Landolt earned fair play mentions for New West.
The bantam 2 team earned a spot in the provincial final with a 3-2 win over Ridge Meadows. Katie McDonnell and Nadine Stewart both scored for New West, while Brittany Shuster tallied the game-winner.
Landolt, who stepped in to play goal for New West 2 at the provincials, was outstanding, registering three wins, including an 8-0 shutout against Burnaby in the team's opening game.
Malcom also coached the New West peewee girls to a silver medal, despite two close losses to Coquitlam and Burnaby in preliminary play.
The peewee girls earned a spot in the final four with a 4-3 win over 19-1 regular season champion Ridge Meadows. Erica Malcom tallied the game-winner in the victory.
"It was great to beat them (Ridge Meadows) in the round robin. It was a highlight for sure," said coach Malcom.
New West earned a spot in the final with a 9-4 win over Coquitlam 2. All-star Andrea Serbanescu scored six times in the semifinal.
But taking a second straight win over the league champs proved too tall an order for New West following a 7-3 loss to Ridge Meadows in the final.
Every single player did the best they could," said Malcom, who singled out Linnaea Cassidy for her hard-working play. "They had a good year. I'm proud of them." Sara Gaber earned the fair play award for the New West peewees.
Malcom also praised the leadership of the successful girls' program in New West.
"All the credit goes to Jamie Stewart and Warren Goss. They do a phenomenal job," said Malcom. "They are really fair and the girls are really enjoying themselves. To have two teams at every age group is just great."
New Westminster also had two teams in the midget division, but the No. 2 team lost 6-5 to Port Coquitlam in the bronzemedal final.
The midget 1 team defeated its New West clubmate 7-3 in the opening game of the provincials. The team then dropped a pair of one-goal heartbreakers to Ridge Meadows and PoCo and failed to qualify for the championship round.
Breanna Croxen and Ellelen Degife were named New West's midget fair play winners.