Monday and Wednesday evenings, University of La Crosse students can participate in the fastest growing sport in the United States, according to Business Insider — Lacrosse.
Lacrosse, known as the “fastest sport on two feet,” has its roots in a tribal game played by the Native Americans of the Eastern Woods according to Thomas Vennum Jr.’s “The History of Lacrosse”. Lacrosse female is played between two teams of 12 players including a goalkeeper. Players use sticks and strategy to try to score by shooting the ball into the opponent’s net in two 30-minute halves.
“I think lacrosse is a great sport to try because it’s easy to get good in a short period of time,” said UWL Women’s Lacrosse President and UWL Senior Maya Schulte. Schulte has been with the club since his first year and has been playing lacrosse since 4e class. She is largely responsible for teaching the sport to new players.
The main competitive season for the UWL women’s lacrosse team is in the spring, but they have a few tournaments in the fall to prepare.
“Our fall tournaments do not apply to our qualification for the Nationals,” explained team treasurer and UWL senior Hannah Wise. “These tournaments are mainly used to allow newcomers to get used to the sport.
Schulte explained that most of the team have no lacrosse experience and a majority of the women have played sports like soccer and hockey, or none at all.
To further educate the new sport, the team has extra sticks, goggles and a full set of goalie gear for newcomers to use.
In the spring, the team must play at least three teams in its conference plus five other teams. They carpool to various tournaments and the furthest they’ve traveled recently is at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
“The games and tournaments are organized between the team presidents,” said Schulte. “We have a meeting of all the conferences in the fall where we start to discuss when we play against each other.”
The women’s game of lacrosse is very different from the men’s game.
According to a quote from Rosabelle Sinclair who created the first women’s team in the United States, “It is true that the goal of both men’s and women’s lacrosse is to send a ball through a goal using the racquet, but while men resort to force brutality, women depend only on skill.
“The women’s game is a lot more tactical since it has no contact and relies more on positioning and stick skills,” explained Wise, “I think that makes it more accessible to beginners.
In addition to practices and games, the team participates in various volunteer and fundraising efforts. In past seasons, they have volunteered at the annual Turkey Trot, Jingle Bell Walk, and many YMCA events.
Students are welcome to join the team at any time and are encouraged to contact Schulte. Practice takes place on Monday and Wednesday evenings on the soccer field with tournaments and matches on weekends.