On Saturday, March 9, Loras will officially welcome a new sport into its fold as a group of student-athletes will stand in the Rock Bowl and prepare for the battles that come with the game of Lacrosse.
The Duhawks will face off at home against Augustana College in what will be the first test for the young team. Coach Emily Goetz is ready for the unique challenges that are in store for the team as she begins building the program at Loras.
“The biggest challenge is really getting kids interested in a sport they’ve never heard of or never been a part of,” she said. “We’re sitting at 16 kids so we can’t even scrimmage a full field since there are normally 24 kids going at a time.”
Coach Goetz also talked about the challenge of establishing team chemistry.
“Typically, kids are coming onto a team that’s already been established. With us, everyone’s still trying to figure out their roles, how to communicate with each other and how to learn the ropes.”
Of the 16 Duhawks on the roster, only four have previous experience playing lacrosse. Coach Goetz talked about how she plans to balance teaching the players the game with preparing for opponents.
“We’re going to do both,” she said. “This year we’re focusing on stick skills a lot and then on concepts here and there. We will prepare for some games like Beloit and UD who are both in similar situations as us. When I get game film, we will practice for those games specifically because they’re definitely going to be more in our reach as far as competitiveness goes. We’re really going to focus on stick skills because we need to make transitions. We need to catch the ball. That’s going to help our entire flow of the game.”
Coach Goetz outlined a few goals she had for her team in its first year.
“My goals are really to teach the sport and make sure all the kids are having fun. I want to win games,” she said. “Every game is winnable and the girls need to know that and they do. We’re definitely going to go out every single game and look to win it. I want the girls to pick up the sport and I want them to learn the rules. That way when we get into next year when we have recruits coming in, we’re ready to hit the ground and go.”
The women’s lacrosse team is still in need of players. Coach Goetz wants to encourage anyone who might be interested in playing to get in contact with her.
“I would like a roster of about 25 to 30; that would be ideal,” she said. “Even though we’re a full month into our season, if kids want to come out who have just finished winter sports, they can still contact me and we’ll get them in. Just because we’ve already started doesn’t mean they can’t still play. If there’s still interest out there, definitely let me know. I’m not closing my door to anybody.”