The Portland Women’s Club Lacrosse team is heading to Nationals in Austin Texas, from May 4-7.
“We’re kind of jumping into the deep end of the pool,” Head coach Tom O’Connor says of the upcoming tournament.
This is the first time the Pilots have qualified for nationals in program history.
“The whole team is super excited. We've been working really hard this season, and it feels like it's paying off,” Captain Hannah Kelly said.
They qualified in Spokane, WA during the regionals tournament on April 9 and 19 hosted by Gonzaga. Although they had beaten Gonzaga the week before by one point, they fell to Gonzaga 10-9.
“We knew we had a pretty big chance and then once we found out we were playing Gonzaga, then we knew it was likely going to happen, but we also wanted the title of winning first in our region,” Kelly said.
Gonzaga declined its spot due to schedule conflicts, but the team would have qualified regardless according to O’Conner.
“We would have qualified either way, if we won or lost. We were 11th in the nation and Gonzaga was 15th,” O'Connor said.
The team finished its regular season with a record of 8-2 and a final WCLA D2 ranking of 11th in the nation.
“The team has 11 seniors, a lot of them are nursing majors because they all got to join for their final year. Senior year spring semester for nursing students is not as bad as other semesters,” said Kelly.
The team is really close because of this, with Kelly even going to the seniors' commencement.
The team doesn’t hold tryouts and accepts players of any skill level, but it is competitive. Team atmosphere is important to the players as well. Outside of practice, the players hang out off the field and make frequent boba runs.
Even though the team doesn’t cut players, it still boasts the top scorer in the league (4th in the nation), senior Ryn Marcel as well as league defensive MVP Cova Li.
Wilder Isom is a sports reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at email@example.com