When asked for a show of hands how many of them have played lacrosse before, only young women raised their hands.
A lot of has changed since then.
Since that first practice last spring, the women’s lacrosse team at the University of Nevada, Reno has never given up. Now they’re more dedicated and united than ever, with high hopes of winning their first home game that takes place on the John Sala Intramural Fields on Sunday, March 22 at 1 p.m. against Sonoma State University.
When the team first started, the founder called a meeting and then quickly after moved to Las Vegas. A group of girls showed up to the first practice, unsure what to expect.
Amy Evans, a transfer student who played lacrosse at Seattle University, stepped up and took over.
At first, Evans played the coach as well as the player role. Other players began to step up. She said she couldn’t have done it alone. Finally on Jan. 20, the team got a coach. Becca Deal, who played college lacrosse at the University of California, Davis, stepped into the role.
“She’s calm and she knows what she talking about,” said Evans, a 21-year-old psychology major originally from San Jose, Calif. “We’ve come together so much as a team since she started with us.”
Consisting of 15 players, four of whom are team captains, the women’s lacrosse team has one win, one tie and six losses this season. Still a provisional team in its first full season, the lacrosse team is trying to move up to the Western Women’s Lacrosse League in the northern club division.
The team has succeeded in reaching many of their goals already. One large milestone this year was to win a game. In a match played at the Santa Barbara Shoot-Out tournament, Nevada won, 10-8, against San Jose State University. Team captain Lauren VanCitters led the team with three goals. Evans and team captain Yvette Hollett both scored two goals. The team excelled in assists and defense during this game as well.
The women’s lacrosse team also has a set of personal goals. Every player has been working hard to achieve their own individual goals.
“I’m not trying to measure success this year in terms of wins and losses,” Deal said. “We have set individual goals and that’s how we’re going to measure our team success.”
The team has also set out to promote the sport of lacrosse. Evans sees a lack of lacrosse interest on the West Coast compared to the East Coast. She wants that to change. She says the team isn’t just starting a lacrosse team at the University, but also a movement in the region. She plans to help start lacrosse at the middle- and high school-level as well.
“It’s (lacrosse) kind of a big movement that we just can’t help but be a part of,” Evans said. “It’s also very fun and rewarding.”
Deal also wants to help that movement move forward, which is a large reason she wanted to coach the team. Deal is very proud of the drive and passion her players have.
“I’ve asked them to dedicate a lot of time to make a commitment and this particular group has risen to the challenge so far,” Deal said.
The women’s lacrosse team is looking for more players. Anyone is welcome to come to a practice and join. Practices take place from 8-10 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on the John Sala Intramural Fields. For more information, contact Amy Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org