Women’s Lacrosse

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In 1970 the Golden Horseshoe Girls Lacrosse League (GHGLL), the first lacrosse league for girls in Ontario, was formed.

The Rexdale Senior team (ages 14-19) was the first league champion and went on to dominate the league for the next four years, winning the GHGLL Senior “A” Championship from 1970 to 1973.

Rexdale President, Dale Douglas noted in 1970, “The past season was the first here for girls’ box lacrosse and the team ended up on top of the world of girls’ box lacrosse.”

FRONT ROW: (Left to right) Carol Partridge, Debbie Callan, Heather Nunn, Jo-Ann Niskanen, Joan Larose, Sue Quigg, Vicki Proctor, June Todd, Sandy Scott, Janet Larose, Cathy O’Malley, Karen Pettie, Bill Morrison (Coach).
BACK ROW: (Left to right) Karen Stewart, Brenda Hunt, Kim Gale, Kathy Adams, Brenda Bolitho, Marylou Goodenough, Janice Scott, Loren Morrison, Debbie O’Neil, Donna Nunn
Missing: Josie Niskanen (Manager)

The Etobicoke Tomahawks was the first girls’ field lacrosse team in Canada formed in 1978 by the Gilkinson brothers, Paul and Stan.

The team featured 23 of the top women box lacrosse players from Ontario’s lacrosse hotbeds — Peterborough, Scarborough, Whitby, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Hamilton, Brantford, Wallaceburg, Cornwall, and one player from Nova Scotia.

The Gilkinsons set up an itinerary south of the border that would see the Tomahawks play Colgate University’s varsity and junior varsity teams, then compete in the New England District USWLA tournament.

Women Play LACROSSE – A history of the International Field Game
Jim Calder and Ron Fletcher

FRONT ROW: (Left to right) Bill Gilkinson (Goalie Coach), Karen Spencer, Kim Jeanes, Diana Drury, Loren McCue, Mrs. Joan Gilkinson (Secretary-Treasurer), Eileen Vaughan, Cheryl Coombes, Linda Winsper, Lisa Selinger, Paul Gilkinson (Head Coach)
BACK ROW: (Left to right) Ron MacSpadyen (Technical Co-ordinator), Charlene MacArthur, Nancy Prendergast, Kerri Hardill, Shannon Quinn, Darlene Staats, Lorie Selinger, Rosemary Chynoweth, Barb Boyes, Noreen Lem, Marie Gilkinson, Colleen Bechard, Sandra Burton, Kathy King, Jill Gaynor, Cheri Nyman, Stan Gilkinson (General Manager)

FIRST INTERNATIONAL Womens Field lacrosse game played in Canada

In June 1979 a New England (USA) High School All Star team, organized and coached by Carole Kleinfeider (US National team coach), played at Lamport stadium against the Etobicoke Tomahawks (Ontario) in the first international field lacrosse game for women held in Canada.

The Etobicoke Women’s field lacrosse club was comprised of box lacrosse players from around Ontario. New England won the first game of the 2 game series 8 to 6. Etobicoke (Ontario) won the second game 7 to 6.

ONTARIO PLAYERS L to R (in shorts): Noreen Lem, Julie Norton, Marie Gilkinson (Photo courtesy of the Toronto Sun)

The Lady Blue Knights Field Lacrosse Club was founded in 2000 by Barb Boyes (1999 OLHOF Inductee).

The organization started with 60 girls playing Under 15 house league in Durham (Oshawa).  Over 20 years, the program has continuously grown and there are now approximately 500 girls/women from age 4 to 40+ playing in the club.  The Lady Blue Knights have had numerous players receive U.S. College scholarships and play at Ontario Universities.  Many players have also played on Provincial and National teams.

With 57 Provincial Championships, the program has become the largest and most successful women’s field lacrosse organizations in Canada.

FRONT ROW: (Left to right) Nicole Perroni, Maggie Cuddy, Jillian McNaughton, Kylea Dobson, Bryar Hogg, Briaunna D’Andrade.
BACK ROW: (Left to right) Madalyn Baxter, Jacqueline Maclean, Kieran Gerow, Jordan Dean, Olivia Toll, Kate MacDonell, Abbey Lee, Abigael Hiltz, Avery Di Giorgio, Alexandra Nesbitt, Nicole Martindale (Assistant Coach), Jessica Lee (Head Coach).

The 1997 season marked a special place in Ontario Women’s Lacrosse, and will be remembered in history as the inaugural year of the first ever Ontario
U-20 Girls Field Lacrosse League.

A new league required a new trophy.  At the opening Ceremonies of the Provincial Championship & National Tournament held on August 1st in Scarborough, a special presentation of the new league trophy was made by Carol & Wes Patterson to Joanne Stanga, the OWFL Commissioner.

8 Clubs competed at the first championship representing Durham Region, Guelph, Orangeville, Kitchener-Waterloo, Owen Sound, Six Nations, Orillia and St. Catharines.

The Joanne T. Stanga trophy was presented at the end of the tournament to the first champions, the Durham Region Stingers.

BACK ROW: (Left to Right) Cheryl MacNeill (Coach), Jessica Brownridge, Corrie Price, Angela McCready, Shea McDonald, Tara Wailes, Julie Shields, Sandy Palumbo, Jan Willoughby, Marcene Jones, Carolyn Frizzle, Tania Paulozza (Coach).
FRONT ROW: Heather Elliott, Jillian Shannon, Karyn Peacocke, Courtney Burnett, Jaime Bernier. Missing: Ang Johnston