Daily Archives: March 2, 2013
NCAA Lacrosse: Marquette Men’s Lacrosse Earns Programs First Win Topping Air Force 8-6 At Falcon Stadium On March 2
NCAA Lacrosse: #13 Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse Rallies From Six Goal Deficit To Upset #8 Penn State 10-9 In Overtime On March 2
NCAA Lacrosse: #2 Notre Dame Men’s Lacrosse Outlasts #9 North Carolina 10-9 In Three Overtimes On Attacker Matt Kavanagh’s Winner On March 2
NCAA Lacrosse: Colorado Women’s Lacrosse Builds Inaugural Program Around Northwestern Tradition And “Crazy Growth Of Girls Lacrosse” In Colorado
This spring, eight new programs started across the country, including at Southern California. In 2014 the number of Division 1 programs will reach 102 with the addition of Michigan and Colorado, and by 2016, three more teams, Furman, Mercer and Central Michigan, will up that number to 105.
This fall as a gaggle of eager freshmen arrive on campus in Boulder, a group of 20 women will also arrive, ready to make history as the inaugural members of the University of Colorado women’s lacrosse team.
“In all honesty, one of the biggest challenges has just been not having a team right now,” she said. “We’re used to being on the field all the time and seeing that progress with the kids.”
Developing a group of green 17- and 18-year-olds will be a challenge, Elliott knows. But the huge grin across her face as she talks animatedly about her new team doesn’t give away any nerves the young coach might have about starting a program from scratch. Elliott, 28, was hired last spring after the CU athletic department announced it would add women’s lacrosse as its 17th varsity sport.
Manning and the athletic department began talking about adding a sport before CU finalized its move to the Pac-12 two years ago.
The conversation kept coming back to women’s lacrosse, Manning said, because it made sense given the university’s needs and current facilities. It’s a spring women’s sport, growing quickly on the West Coast and in Colorado and eventually the university could sell tickets to matches, Manning said.
Colorado Girls Lacrosse Association President Kevin Mortimer said the sport is growing “like crazy” in Colorado, especially on the girl’s side. He coaches the Grandview High School girls lacrosse team in Aurora, which has doubled in size in the last year. He’s even adding a third “C” level development team to help with the overflow, he said.
Manning and other administrators visited Denver and talked with Stanford, Northwestern and Virginia to see what building the program would look like at a time when other schools are facing athletic budget cuts.
“As an administrator, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Manning said. “Not many institutions are adding any sort of sports programs. Many institutions are going the other way.”
Colorado has the support of the university and hype from the state’s lacrosse fans, but Elliott will still face the challenge of acclimating 20 women to collegiate life and Division 1 lacrosse without upperclassmen mentors to look to for guidance.
Four of the new players come from Colorado, while the rest are from a mix of East Coast states, California and the Midwest.
Nielsen said it didn’t take much to convince many recruits to commit to Colorado once they saw the campus. It helped that Elliott, Nielsen and Magarity had a handful of national titles between them, and spoke about unanimous lacrosse philosophies.
“When we’re talking to recruits, we all agree with what everyone’s saying because we’ve been part of the same program and we have the same beliefs,” Nielsen said. “We’ve got that unique experience that not a lot of coaching staffs out there have. We know what works. We’ve been part of national championships. We know the right way to do things.”
Nielsen said she’s looking forward to starting new traditions at Colorado, an opportunity most coaches don’t get with an existing program, and said her expectations for the team’s first season next year are high.