It takes a lot to manage a club team, especially when the program lacks funding for a coach. However, that does not stop the women’s lacrosse team from continuing to play the game they love.
Since the club began in Spring 2011, finding a coach has proved a top priority for the team. In the meantime, seniors Addie Wadley and Randi Martinez and junior Kim Brucala face the special task of serving as both coach and athlete. The captains put it upon themselves to guide the new players as well as push the more experienced members of the team to sharpen their skills.
“For me personally, introducing the sport to girls who have never played before and watching them fall in love with the sport is what makes everything worth it,” said Brucala. “I love teaching it to people and seeing what happened to me happen to them when I first learned it.”
Wadley and Martinez both joined in the club’s second year of existence and have been a part of the club during their four years at Biola. Brucala and Martinez both played in high school, while Wadley’s first experienced lacrosse at Biola.
Although it may seem as though it would prove difficult for the team to play without a coach to keep them focused, their responsibility is a key motivation for the team to do well in practice.
“I think that since we are a club, we have to push ourselves to do well,” Martinez said. “It’s cool to be able to know that what you are putting into it is what you are getting out of it.”
The three combine their skill and knowledge of the game to coach the team as well as take care of the details to keep the club running. The team finds alternative fields to practice on when the soccer pitch is occupied as well as manage all the financial aspects that go into a fully functioning team.
“I would say the club experience is different from being funded by the school and so it takes a different level of commitment,” said Brucala. “That is why I keep coming back because I know that this is what I really want to do and not because it is a varsity team.”
COMPETING AS A CLUB
The team competes in the Div. II Western Women’s Lacrosse league among the likes of UC Santa Barbara and Loyola Marymount University. Biola won two of their games last year, and had a number of close games that ended in losses.
“I would love to see a little more support from the school,” said Wadley. “Lacrosse is growing so much on the west coast right now, and so I would love for the school to see the opportunity that lacrosse is to bring people to this school.”
It will be a long time before the club can become a varsity sport. While it remains a club, it experiences significant differences between the social clubs offered at Biola. This includes recognition as a functioning team by the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association.
“I would love to see club sports as a whole be distinguished from other clubs,” said Wadley “Because club sports and clubs in general are different things with very different needs and I think to be acknowledged as something different than other clubs but not varsity athletics would be good for us.”
The unique blend of agility and aggressive style of play draws many athletes in and once they get a taste of the sport, many girls keep coming back.
“You just can’t get away,” said Martinez. “It’s so addicting.”