Thanks to the determination of students, faculty and staff, UVU can check forming a women’s lacrosse team off the to-do list. The season, which began in late October, has taught these athletes that hard work and perseverance really do pay off.
As UVU’s first women’s lacrosse team, the players have faced many challenges they have overcome in order to become a Division II club sport.
Kyrie Foster, a freshman at UVU, grew up playing lacrosse in Florida and was disappointed when she discovered the lack of a women’s team here at UVU.
“When I decided to come to UVU, I knew I wanted to play lacrosse, so I started looking into forming a team in June [before the fall semester],” Foster said.
There were many things to consider, and in Foster’s case, a lot of hard work was required when it came to proposing the addition of a new athletic team or club. Foster sent countless emails to members in the Utah Lacrosse Association and various local high school coaches, looking for some guidance in forming a team.
In order to become a club at UVU there must be a minimum of six students, the president of the club must be a full-time student and one full-time faculty or staff member must be the advisor.
According to Foster, the biggest challenges she and her teammates faced were finding an advisor and recruiting enough players.
In lacrosse, there are 12 players from each team on the field at all times, and the average team has between 20-30 players on their roster.
Christy “Brown” Jones, one of two captains of the team, agreed that finding enough girls to play was a huge challenge.
“It was hard spreading the word and making people aware,” Jones said.
Flyers and word of mouth eventually spread to lacrosse fans and players across campus, and the roster grew to 14 – enough to make a team. Although the girls are forced to play every game with only two subs, they don’t complain. Instead, they look at it as another challenge they will overcome.
Once an advisor was found and the roster was filled, everything started to take off. Darrell Robinson, the president of UVU lacrosse, found David Williams, who is now the head coach of both the men and women’s UVU lacrosse teams.
Williams had always had a goal of coaching at the collegiate level, so when he was approached with this opportunity, he couldn’t say no.
“I knew this would be a great way for me to get my foot in the door,” Williams said.
Williams has been able to incorporate the personal experience he gained while playing on the Utah State men’s lacrosse team into his coaching methods for these girls.
“We want to play as a team. Instead of having twelve individuals on the field, we want a unified team,” Williams said.
William’s goal for next year is recruiting, which he says has already begun. They want add 20-25 more girls to the roster for next season, and anticipate moving to the Division I level within two to three years.
This team has worked hard to not only become respected competition, but have also been able to defeat top-ranked teams such as Utah State and Weber State. With a 5-5 record thus far, the girls are very proud of what they have accomplished.
Last Saturday’s game demonstrated the ladies’ will to overcome challenges as they defeated Utah State 14-12. As the lead bounced back and forth between UVU and Utah State, the Wolverines fought until the last second and ended with a strong victory.
“Our strategy is to win,” Williams said.
And win they have.
For those looking create a new club at UVU, visit uvu.edu/clubs.