Last year the University of Dallas saw lacrosse disappear as an official sport to the dismay of all the players who loved their sport and community. The men’s lacrosse team had started their season strong despite their small numbers, yet too many were unable to continue competing due to injuries and sickness.
Although the women’s team had the numbers and participation needed, a Title IX clause had the university dissolve their team, as well. The senior players, namely their former captain Sophia Haeuser, quickly formed a club to keep the sport they love alive on campus. However, Haeuser came to UD to play lacrosse and has now transferred for another opportunity. Haeuser has left the club with present president of the UD women’s lacrosse club, Jessica Ramirez, a senior psychology major.
Ramiriez has officially affiliated the club with the Texas Women’s Lacrosse League and is working on securing funding from the university despite their delayed response.
The club is excited to be out from under the NCAA’s strict guidelines on uniforms and practice times. This affiliation with the TWLL allows the players, Ramirez says, “a lot more opportunity for higher level competition since a lot of schools in Texas are involved. So we’ll be playing against teams from schools like SMU, Texas Tech, and TCU.”
Similarly, player Emily Dietrich, a junior business major, looks forward to being independent of the NCAA. Dietrich said, “booking games will no longer be a complicated process and we will be just as active as before,” for those concerned about the split.
Practices will now also be less frequent while still rigorous. Presently, the club will be coached by UD alum Emily Pauletti with some practices being senior-led twice a week.
Questions about transportation and costs of equipment are still in the air as funding has not been entirely secure yet but there has been some headway in using the recreation field or the soccer field for lacrosse club practice. In fact, Ramirez is already in the process of reserving the field for practice days and is planning on car pooling for transportation to and from competitions.
Currently, there is a mix of the original lacrosse team and new players but they strongly encourage anyone looking for a place of community or just wanting to be a part of something to join the Women’s lacrosse club. For Dietrich, the lacrosse team was where she discovered how to be on her own and connect with upperclassmen as a freshman.
Dietrich commented, “It was a huge contributing factor in my courage, confidence, assertiveness and how I became the person I am right now.” Of course, lacrosse does have its share of challenges, however, she hopes this doesn’t dissuade anyone from joining.