The Lady DuLax
The stars were visible and there was a chill in the air by the time practice was over at Malosky Stadium. A pack of 21 women clad in lacrosse gear jogged off the field to retrieve their practice bags and call it a night.
"We are a very close team, which has really helped us in many ways," said Catie Howe, a senior midfielder on the women's club lacrosse team, the Lady DuLax. "Team bonding is something that we prioritize."
Working as a team is more important than ever for the Lady DuLax, since their coach did not return this year. Rather, the leaders of the team must juggle three roles in one: player, captain, and coach. It has proved to be a challenging task, but the team’s regular season record of six wins and two losses doesn’t show it.
Junior defenseman Emily Magner, one of three leaders on the team, knows just how tough of a task it can be.
“It’s difficult because you want to get to know your teammates and be able to form those connections with them, but on the same hand you need to have this role of a coach,” Magner said. “You’re not able to goof around all the time like you’d want to, because you have to take charge and make sure things are getting done.”
The leaders take on a variety of roles. They come up with the plays for the season, decide when their practices are and what they will consist of, and make sure the team is working well together, among many other things.
“It does get to be hard, because it’s a fine line between being friends and also being respected as a leader,” Magner said.
All members of the team agree that the lack of an official coach is difficult.
“Not having a head coach to run the practices has been an adjustment,” Howe said. “To have someone with that authority is really helpful to look to for advice on my game or anything I am questioning.”
Adjusting from years of having a coach to going without one has led to some changes.
“I think it really makes us hold ourselves accountable, and that has been a huge thing we’ve had to do,” Howe said.
Weekends are the busiest time for the Lady DuLax. Their Saturdays and Sundays are designated for games, which often take up the entire day when factoring in travel time, preparing for the game, and playing the game itself.
Dana Howe, a freshman on the team and the younger sister of Catie, is one of seven new first-years to join the Lady Dulax. She says there are a lot of misconceptions about women’s lacrosse.
“People always ask me, ‘Can’t you not touch each other and not get physical at all?’” the freshman Howe said. “They think it’s a non-contact sport, but it definitely is.”
Another misconception has to do with the gender playing the game.
“Everyone tends to think men’s and women’s lacrosse are very similar, which they’re not – there are a lot of different rules, equipment. Almost everything is different,” Dana said.
As the women’s lacrosse season comes to a close, Magner reflects on her year as a leader. “It’s a big time commitment, but it’s really rewarding.”
For now, whether or not there will be a new head coach next year is still unknown. Nonetheless, the Lady DuLax continue to focus on what they do best: being a team.