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New West girls gold again at provincials

New Westminster was the belle of the girls' provincial lacrosse ball again. The biggest little lacrosse association in B.C.

New Westminster was the belle of the girls' provincial lacrosse ball again.

The biggest little lacrosse association in B.C. won four medals at this season's provincial championships in Port Coquitlam, including gold in both the midget and junior girls' divisions.

The juniors blanked Nanaimo 5-0 in the gold-medal final behind game MVP Alex Lund-Murray's shutout. The tournament MVP keeper was also named to the tournament all-star team.

Led by injured team captain and game MVP Kirsti Shanks, New Wet came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Coquitlam 6-2 in the semifinals.

Lauren Kutasi sparked the rally with her first-ever lacrosse goal with 14 seconds left in the first period.

Assistant captain Tamara Harris wrapped up her minor lacrosse career with seven goals in the tournament.

Amber Haley and Leah Purdey also picked up game MVPs for the 5-0 New West club that allowed just nine goals in tournament play.

The junior girls were also named the most sporting team in all divisions at the girls' provincials.

"This was a phenomenal team effort with every girl on the team contributing to the season's success," said coach Warren Goss.

Just two hours earlier, the New Westminster 2 midget team took the association's first gold with a 7-3 victory over Port Coquitlam.

New West midget 1 team claimed a bronze with a 13-0 win over Nanaimo.

The bantam 2 team also finished in third place, edging out Port Moody 3-2.

"It's called having very good athletes on your team and good lacrosse teams in New Westminster," said Jamie Stewart, who coached the midget team to gold and the bantams to bronze. "It's another good year."

Despite missing three starters, the New West midget girls avenged an earlier 10-5 loss to PoCo in the preliminary round with a nine-goal turnaround.

Tournament MVP Rianne Wilkinson led the team, while Gaby Jones pitched in with a pair of goals.

Lauren Stewart, Breanna Croxen, Nina Biagini and goalie Tfion Mulatu also stood out on a team of stars.

"It speaks to the girls having a lot of courage and moxy. . Every single one of them played wonderful," Stewart said.

In the bantam game, Monica Disanjh scored the game-winner in overtime. Bianca Ballarin was named game MVP.

But arguably, the true tournament final was a 4-3 overtime loss to Burnaby in the semifinal.

Emily McLaughlin, Leilani Carney and Nadine Stewart all had strong tournaments for the bantams.

New Westminster's midget 1 team steamrolled to the bronze.

Jennifer Noort, Stephanie Browning and Mary McQueen had two goals apiece in the onesided win. Melissa Flintoff and goalie Bonita Chafe also had strong showings in the four-day tourney.

"They played hard," said midget 1 coach Rich Browning. "The biggest thing is we fielded two teams and were still competitive"

That fact continues to hold true for the girls year after year, said Stewart.

"The girls are growing in numbers and that's the best thing. We're registering everybody, not just the good athletes, and we're looking for more numbers," said Stewart, the association president. "The girls are still having an absolute hoot playing the game. I'm very proud of all the kids in New West."