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Passion, desire bring’s women’s lacrosse back to SEU

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Women's Lacrosse

Women's Lacrosse

Women's Lacrosse

Angel Espinosa

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Club sports undeniably build community and character. Among the most recognized at SEU are rugby, soccer, and volleyball. That being said, one that doesn’t receive nearly enough acknowledgement is women’s lacrosse.

Before the fall of 2016, for unknown reasons, SEU had been without a women’s lacrosse team for two to three years. However, one of the plausible reasons may simply be because not many people know about the sport, let alone know how to play. Yet from the city of Austin itself, a bright eyed sophomore with a passion for lacrosse decided to act on her desire to play.

Chloe Becker, the president of the women’s lacrosse club and a native Austinite, came to SEU with five years of experience playing lacrosse. Her desire to play stemmed not only from the sport being fun, unique, and transformative, but also from the community and friendships that resulted in her commitment to the team. Becker noticed the change lacrosse made on the development of her leadership skills and her character.

After a year at St. Edward’s, her longing for the sport and the community it provided grew stronger, and she became passionate about bringing the unfamiliar sport to the campus. Her goal was to have fun and teach people how to play lacrosse.

“Shortly after I started promoting it and recruiting people, I realized that a lot of freshmen are super reserved and quiet and don’t want to get out there, but I think it’s really important for you to kind of just jump in and do something,” Becker said.“I think if you start out your freshman year of college with that kind of community you’re just going to do a lot better in general. It’s a confidence builder, offers a lot of support and it’s fun. Why wouldn’t you want to have fun?”

As an underdeveloped club sport, however, there were several obstacles she faced. Those obstacles included finding a coach, recruiting the right amount of girls for the team and establishing a legitimate structure.

“I had no idea what I was doing. I’m definitely better now, but at the time I didn’t think I was really good with new people, so it was intimidating to know that I was going to have to talk to people and win them over to recruit them on the team,” she said.

After several conversations with various potential coaches, Chloe received a message from a prospective volunteer and agreed to interview him for the position. Even though he had never coached a women’s lacrosse team, he had played men’s lacrosse and she believed he was the best candidate for the job. For that reason, Jack Riewe became the coach of the women’s lacrosse club.

“It was hard to step back and let him coach while simultaneously in my head going, ‘that’s wrong, that’s wrong, that’s wrong,’ because he just didn’t know,” she said. “So I had to step in and correct him, but I also didn’t want to undermine his authority because I wanted to set up a good dynamic between the team and him.”

Chloe found it particularly challenging to find a way to convince people to play a sport that they had never heard of. It was difficult to convince them that paying dues and showing up to practice to learn the sport was worth it since the structure was still relatively unorganized.

Although difficult, Becker says what motivated her the most was her investment in building the team.. Following a comment from Andy Lemons, she felt even more obligated to the team.

“Once we got the ball rolling after a semester or two he was like, ‘yeah, I see a lot of promise here,’ and I thought… I can’t fail now, I can’t let him down,” Becker said.

She says that after losing the desire to play her freshman year, she found herself falling in love with it again, despite the many obstacles she faced. By rebuilding the women’s lacrosse team, Becker realized that this success crushed any doubts she had about her leadership.

Now, Becker hopes the team will make it to the playoffs. She also hopes the team builds autonomy and grows as a sport and community. She makes a strong effort to abandon the pressure highschool places on players to win games, choosing instead to focus more on the team’s performance. She also emphasizes progress by fulfilling personal and team goals set at the beginning of each semester.

“If we achieve a team goal or if someone makes progress on a personal goal, that’s the important part. I don’t want that ‘if you lose, you didn’t get anything out of it,’ sentiment,” she said.

The team’s vice president, Margot Sweeney agrees with Becker’s thought process.

“Goals like taking a shot, trying to make a goal, or encouraging their teammate – if they can make it happen, then we’ve done our job,” Sweeney said.

There is plenty to be happy about with the reestablishment of the team, such as accomplishing those goals, continually being challenged, maintaining the team and simply having the team at all.

However, what Becker finds especially fulfilling is seeing the diverse personalities that have come together as a result of this unique sport. Sweeney, too, notices the payoff with the girls putting in work both on, as well as off the field.

Of the countless skills Becker has developed as a result of this accomplishment, she particularly recognizes her progress in leadership skills, patience and time management. Sweeney best summarizes the impact Becker has left at SEU.

“She’s provided a new outlet on campus for people to get involved, build their leadership, and stay fit,” said Sweeney.

SEU Women’s Lacrosse will play their next home game on April 7 at noon. You can follow all their social media @seuwlax

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Passion, desire bring’s women’s lacrosse back to SEU