Cal State Fullerton womenâ€™s lacrosse club was first established four years ago by twins Jennifer and Michelle Van Alstine.
â€œI remember being a sophomore and walking through Discoverfest, and just out of curiosity and interest I saw a menâ€™s booth and asked the menâ€™s team if there was a womenâ€™s lacrosse team. And strangely enough, they said that there were these girls that were trying to get a club started that season, so I left them my e-mail,â€ said senior Annie Chang. â€œThe girls contacted me and Iâ€™ve been there ever since.â€
Chang started out being a defender, which is referred to as third man. Last season she switched to offense (one of three homes: 1st, 2nd, 3rd home), her current position this year.
â€œThe position is subject to change this season due to new players on the team,â€ Chang said. â€œI am fairly comfortable with both.â€
Chang is the only player left on the team that has been there since the start of the club.
â€œIt is better to have a small team with dedicated members than a large one with members that are inactive, because bonding and teamwork is extremely important on any sports team,â€ Chang said.
Josie Hudspeth was the teamâ€™s president last year and is currently the Sports Club Inter-Club Council treasurer and team captain, along with co-captains Dani Willis and Haleigh Garlow.
As team president, Hudspeth dedicated a lot of her time to get the team organized and is considered one of the reasons why the team has improved tremendously this year.
â€œMy goal was to develop our organization so that each member was involved in the club’s management,â€ said Hudspeth. â€œI am proud to say that our new leaders have stepped into their new roles with determination and commitment to the success of the program.â€
This is Hudspethâ€™s last year on the team as she will be graduating this spring.
Hayleigh Garlow is this yearâ€™s team president. She won the Iron Woman award and Most Valuable Player award her freshman year as a midfielder.
Comprising the CSUF womenâ€™s lacrosse team this year are athletes Alyssa Andrade, Annie Chang, AndreÃna Delgadillo, Allison Fletcher, Garlow, Vanessa Hernandez, Hudspeth, Megan Kute, Tammy Lam, Ciara Looney, Victoria Marasgan, Nicole Shmuttermair, Ali Thompson, Courtney Weckerle and Dani Willis.
Their first game of the season was this past weekend in Santa Barbara at the Santa Barbara Shootout. CSUF took on the women of UC Santa Cruz and University of Minnesota Duluth.
â€œIâ€™m very excited for this season because this year our team is very solid compared to the previous years of struggle,â€ Chang said.
â€œWe hosted the first two annual California Lacrosse Conventions,â€ said Garlow proudly.
The CSUF womenâ€™s lacrosse team has hosted annual conventions, providing classrooms and live demonstrations covering all aspects of lacrosse for coaches, officials, players, parents and fans.
The convention served as an educational and networking opportunity for the sport of lacrosse in California.
This will be the first year the team will be participating in the Western Womenâ€™s Lacrosse League in April at UC Santa Barbara.
â€œA local referee, Stephanie Svetlik-Haley, agreed to coach our team. She has stayed with us for the last three seasons, and with her help we have become full members of the Western Women’s Lacrosse League and are now competing with the top Division II teams on the West Coast,â€ Hudspeth said.
The WWLL is the original collegiate womenâ€™s lacrosse league in western United States. It started in 1991 and the first champion was UCSB.
The Western Women’s Lacrosse League is an association of collegiate club teams in Arizona, California and Nevada. WWLL is dedicated to the development and promotion of women’s lacrosse in the west.
The league has 33 teams and is divided into Div. I North, Central and South conferences; Div. II North and South; and “B” teams.
A championship tournament at the end of the season determines champions for both divisions.
Their only set home game on Titan grounds is scheduled for March 20 against the University of Nevada Las Vegas at 11 a.m.