Sia unbeaten, wins national championship

As Serafina Sia stepped into the lacrosse box last Tuesday in Calgary, she tried her best to calm her jitters.

The 16-year-old from Prince George had reason to be nervous since it was her first time competing at the national level.

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"I didn't know what to expect... but then the adrenaline kicked in and I was playing lacrosse again," she said.

Sia and her B.C. teammates won that game 10-5 against Ontario, the first of six straight at the Canadian Female Box Lacrosse National championships in the junior women's division.

On Saturday, the two teams battled again, this time in the final where B.C. edged Ontario 6-4 to capture the national championship.

"It's my first national title, it's awesome," said Sia, who first picked up a lacrosse stick eight years ago. "The girls are so skilled and it was awesome to play with them. It was hard for me to come from out of town to play with them, but they all made me feel welcome. They were really fun to play with.

"(In the final), we had to compete. It was a good game. It was tied (2-2) after the second period and we went up 5-4. We scored on an open net to win the game."

In round-robin play, en route to its perfect 6-0 record, B.C. beat Alberta 8-4 and 6-2, Nova Scotia 9-4 and 11-4 and Ontario 9-3. That gave them a ticket straight to the final.

While she didn't score in the final, Sia collected seven points in five games - two goals and five assists.

The national championships capped a busy lacrosse season for Sia, who just completed her first season with the Northland Nissan Assault in the Prince George Senior Men's Lacrosse Association. The Assault posted a 3-9 regular season record but were knocked out of the first round of the playoffs by the Westwood Pub Devils.

In between weekly league games, Sia found the time to attend a weekend-long Team B.C. try-out in May in Langley.

When she made the squad, it meant getting up early at 5 or 6 a.m. every Saturday morning, and thanks to her parents, making the drive to the Lower Mainland for Saturday night and Sunday morning practices.

Sia added competing at the Senior C level of PGSLA helped her to become a more physical player, and while the women's game doesn't involve as much contact, she said there were still battles on the floor.

But now, Sia, who turns 17 next week and is entering Grade 12 at College Heights secondary, is looking forward to some down time.

"I have August off from lacrosse and I don't plan on travelling," she said. "I haven't been home. I may play some field lacrosse in September.

The age range for the junior women's level is between 16 to 21 and Sia, in her first year of eligibility, liked the chemistry that developed on the squad.

"We had a pretty good mix of players - there were five or six 16-year-olds and five or six in their early 20s," she said.

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