Double-duty pays off with two medals for Anishinaabe teen lacrosse player – Anishinabek News

Lily Bressette was able to return home with two medals from the USBOXLA tournament in California. Photo courtesy Lily Bressette.

By Sam Laskaris

SARNIA – Lily Bressette was rewarded for her double-duty performances at a recent box lacrosse tournament in the United States.

Bressette, a member of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, participated with the recently formed Haudenosaunee Jr. Selects Women’s Lacrosse program at the US Box Lacrosse Association’s Winter Nationals, which concluded Feb. 19 in the California city of Irvine.

Bressette, who is 15, was a member of the Haudenosaunee squad that captured a silver medal in the girls’ junior varsity category.

This grouping was for players born between 2008 and 2010.

Bressette was also an affiliate player for the Haudenosaunee club that competed in the girls’ high school division. This grouping was for those born between 2005 and 2007.

That Haudenosaunee team won the bronze medal in its division.

“It’s definitely a big accomplishment to come back with two medals,” said Bressette, who is a Grade 10 student at Northern Collegiate Institute & Vocational School in Sarnia.

Bressette was understandably exhausted at the conclusion of the tournament. After all, between the two teams, she ended up playing 10 games in three days, which included playing five matches in one days. All matches in the tourney consisted of three periods, 13 minutes in length each.

Hannah Lazare, who served as the head coach for both of the Haudenosaunee squads, said Bressette was an important member for both of the junior varsity and high school teams. The majority of the players for both clubs are from Ontario.

“Lily is definitely a key player, not just in her own division but as an affiliate,” Lazare said. “Over the course of the weekend, we had four of our affiliates play all their games and the high school team’s games. And Lily was one of them.”

Bressette was primarily used as a defender at the tournament, also known as USBOXLA.

“She was not just one of our key face-off players but also transition,” Lazare said. “She has an easy ability of transitioning the ball from defence to offence.”

Bressette, who grew up playing field lacrosse, only made the switch to box lacrosse two years ago. She is a member of the Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse Association.

“[She has] a great floor IQ for reading players and plays,” Lazare said. “She was key to our teams obtaining medals over the course of the weekend.”

Lazare thought that Bressette would try to rest herself somewhat during the second day of the tournament, when she suited up for five matches.

“She told me she was going to limit herself playing for the high school final game,” Lazare said. “But she was out there every other shift and on most penalty kills.”

Lazare, who is from Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, had been the head coach of the Ontario girls’ under-19 squad that captured the silver medal at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG).

Those Games, which were primarily held in Halifax, were staged last July.

Bressette was also a member of that Lazare-coached club.

When the opportunity arose to enter squads at USBOXLA, Lazare contacted all of the members of her NAIG team to see if they were interested in participating in the California tourney.

“I was very excited and very nervous at the same time,” Bressette said.

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