Women’s lacrosse continues to grow

In Club Sports, Sports
The women’s lacrosse team practices against each other preparing for battle with future opponents. Here, two Titans on the field square off, as one teammate prepares to take a shot on goal. Photo by Lucio Villa/Daily Titan.

Cal State Fullerton women’s lacrosse club was first established four years ago by twins Jennifer and Michelle Van Alstine.

“I remember being a sophomore and walking through Discoverfest, and just out of curiosity and interest I saw a men’s booth and asked the men’s team if there was a women’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,” said senior Annie Chang. “The girls contacted me and I’ve been there ever since.”

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.

“The position is subject to change this season due to new players on the team,” Chang said. “I am fairly comfortable with both.”

Chang is the only player left on the team that has been there since the start of the club.

“It 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,” Chang said.

Josie Hudspeth was the team’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.

“My goal was to develop our organization so that each member was involved in the club’s management,” said Hudspeth. “I am proud to say that our new leaders have stepped into their new roles with determination and commitment to the success of the program.”

This is Hudspeth’s last year on the team as she will be graduating this spring.

Hayleigh Garlow is this year’s team president. She won the Iron Woman award and Most Valuable Player award her freshman year as a midfielder.

Comprising the CSUF women’s lacrosse team this year are athletes Alyssa Andrade, Annie Chang, Andreína 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.

“I’m very excited for this season because this year our team is very solid compared to the previous years of struggle,” Chang said.

“We hosted the first two annual California Lacrosse Conventions,” said Garlow proudly.

The CSUF women’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 Women’s Lacrosse League in April at UC Santa Barbara.

“A 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,” Hudspeth said.

The WWLL is the original collegiate women’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.

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