Women's lacrosse is serious about club sports

By The Beacon | February 20, 2013 9:00pm

With their season on the way, the women’s lacrosse club is confident and ready to prove themselves

The 2013 women’s lacrosse club team is one of the biggest up-and- coming club sports with growing numbers and talent. (Photograph courtesy of Pam Werner)

By Taylor Tobin, Staff Writer tobint16@up.edu

You are mistaken if you think the women's club lacrosse team is just out there to run around, chuck a ball into a net and maybe knock some opponents down along the way. This club team plays to win.

On Feb. 16, the team beat Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma 14-2.

"Our defense really came together in the second half," freshman Jenna Warner said. "We were also able to run through our set plays on offense, since we had a good lead established. It felt good to have a solid win."

The team also came out strong on Feb. 2-3 in their first games at home, beating Lewis and Clark and losing to Oregon State University.

"It was a good tournament," senior captain Ashley Wilson said. "It's great that we have subs this year, so we have more energy on the field."

Despite the growing talent of women's lacrosse, many UP students do not pay much attention to the team.

"I don't think many people know about our team, and if they do, they think girls' lacrosse is the same as guys' lacrosse-that we're all really vicious and beat each other with sticks," Warner said. "But that's not quite the case."

UP has 11 club sports teams, including women's and men's lacrosse, soccer, water polo and ultimate frisbee, as well as co-ed track, tennis and volleyball. These teams do not always get the respect and recognition they deserve.

"I feel like people don't look at club sports as intense as they should," sophomore captain Katie Smiley said. "We actually compete. Practices aren't just for fun. We practice to win."

Last year, the team consisted of mainly freshman, due to not having a team the year prior. Sophomore Eleina Santos had never played lacrosse until she came to UP and joined the team last year.

"At first it was really hard, but I wanted to stick it out. Lacrosse is exciting and I wanted to get better," Santos said. "It's definitely one of the best decisions I've made being here."

The incoming freshmen this season are a promising addition to the team because of their prior experience.

"A lot of the players that came in this year knew how to play already," Smiley said. "It adds that much more depth to our team as well as new playing styles."

Warner noted that the team is working on using the girls' different playing styles to their advantage.

"There are some people that have never played before and some people that have played for a long time," Warner said. "We come from different high schools and have different techniques, but we're learning to come together and make it a good thing."

The team is excited to show off their hard work at the Boise Classic March 1-3 and on April 6 against Seattle University. At the tournament they will play Boise State, University of Utah, University of Washington and Central Washington University.

"We always look forward to our Boise tournament. The road trip is great because we are stuck with each other for eight hours and it's crazy," Santos said. "There are a lot of memories."

There is never a dull moment with this team and they enjoy each other's company whether they are having a pasta feed, participating in the Color Run or doing Chiles Center clean-ups together to raise money for traveling.