by Jocelyn Moses
This spring is a season of firsts for the University of Northwestern- St. Paul’s athletic department as the institution’s 19th varsity sport is being offered through school’s first ever women’s lacrosse team. This inaugural year brings many challenges but also excitement and passion. The team has begun practicing the past few weeks for their official debut against the University of Dubuque. The Eagles concluded their fall season with a scrimmage against Macalester College but is excited for what their official season has to offer.
With the game requiring a twelve-person roster, seventeen Eagles gear up to make a run at making history at Northwestern. Many of these Eagle lacrosse players have played before and have decided to play at a Division III college, but many have never stepped foot on the field in a lacrosse uniform before. With such a new team, recruiting players has been difficult, and playing games is tough without many substitutes, but the Eagles are compensating and growing in numbers.
Junior captain Megan Cotter recalled previous years she played lacrosse, saying, “I played lacrosse from 8th grade until I graduated high school, as well as a season of club lacrosse for the university I studied abroad at in Galway, Ireland, last spring. Playing lacrosse for a D3 university is completely different from playing lacrosse in high school. My high school team played as a club, so we never had locker rooms or a trainer, and I definitely didn’t take lacrosse so seriously. I played just to have fun then, but I’ve realized that it’s even more fun to train and put in more effort for our sport. We also weren’t sponsored by our high school at all, so the most people we had at games were our parents! Another huge thing is that I enjoy playing the sport so much more now because I get to play with other believers. I didn’t have that kind of relationship with my teammates in high school, so it’s been one of the biggest blessings to play for a team that is anchored in Christ.”
First-time lacrosse player Molly Repp said, “Playing lacrosse for the first time has been such a great experience. There are always adjustments being made, and I’ve learned to be flexible, go with the flow, and follow Coach’s lead. Having never played this sport before and coming onto a new team just makes everything more exciting because I never know what to expect! I’m really excited to just start playing against other teams. I love my teammates, but I’m getting tired of going against them in practice all the time. I want to see how we all come together on the field. We’ve been in preseason for a year and a half now so it’s been a long time coming!”
Experienced and inexperienced players came together in the excitement of the University of Northwestern’s first ever women’s lacrosse team. With history in the making, fans gathered to watch the Eagles take on the University of Dubuque at Augsburg’s dome this past Saturday night. Despite the lack of being able to make stick-to-body contact, the field was full of aggressive players ready to take home a victory. The field, the same size as a soccer pitch, is divided into thirds, serving as restraining lines for certain positions and was filled with excitement as the eagles fought for a win.
Junior Jenny Chamberlain led the Eagles in goals as they fought for a victory but were defeated with a final score of 21-8. Despite being beaten in their first game, Northwestern played well against the Spartans. They held possession and made transitions from defense to offense effectively. Even the coach of Dubuque complemented the Eagles on playing a well and hard-fought game. When catching up with Cotter after the game, she stated, “Despite losing our very first game, we all had such a great time! The game and our team made it so much fun. We’re looking forward to continuing training hard for our next games in Colorado over spring break.”
Watch the video highlights of Northwestern’s first women’s lacrosse game.