The Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association-sanctioned Trillium Cup girls' field lacrosse tournament is wrapping up on the fields of the West Orillia Sports Complex this afternoon.
The tournament, which has been operating since 2005, brought 11 regional high-school championship teams to Orillia on Monday and Tuesday.
Host Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School (PF) was the only team from Orillia to compete, but they fell short by a single goal in their quarter-final match-up on Monday.
Tournament convener and PF teacher/coach Cheryl Devine, says this was a "re-tool" year for the local lacrosse team who hadn’t played together in three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the Flames won the coveted Trillium Cup banner on those same fields.
“There is so much support because Orillia is a great girls' lacrosse hub,” she said. “There is a lot of support from parents and the school itself.”
Coming into the tournament, Devine admits PF had high hopes for coming out on top despite the team's lack of experience and lack of time playing together.
“We were certainly competitive,” she said. “It’s been a challenging year because there haven’t been any other teams in our area to play good competition against.”
Hosting the tournament has been a "great experience," Devine says, and it’s helped build momentum for the PF squad looking ahead to next year.
“We have a lot of good Grade 9 players that are going to continue,” she said. “It was a good building year for us.”
Devine said the travelling teams from as far as Owen Sound, Whitby, and Toronto have all enjoyed spending the last two days in Orillia.
“They like the playing fields here at Rotary Place,” she said. “There are good hotels and restaurants within a short distance, so it’s been keeping Orillia busy.”
Ava Rouse, a Grade 9 PF student, says she enjoyed playing the top teams from across the province this week.
“I’ve enjoyed being able to bond with my teammates,” she said. “I know a lot of the girls on the other teams from rep lacrosse, so it’s been nice seeing them in an environment where there is a lot less pressure.”
Riley Marwick, a Grade 12 PF student, is in her first year of playing high school sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” she said. “It’s a little weird being the oldest on the team and not having any other high school team experience, but it’s been great.”
The tournament's gold medal game between Brooklin High School and St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School started at 1:30 today.