Lacrosse grows strong

EMU’s women’s team has 16 players but said they are always looking for more. They hope to see more fans Sunday at the home game.

Most people know about the popular sports, such as football and basketball, but how many students know about lacrosse?

The Eastern Michigan University women’s lacrosse club team has been around for four years and has been trying to gain some exposure around campus.

When current team member Asani Polamalu came to EMU, the team didn’t exist.

“I was determined, however, to play in college, so during Fajita Fest I made a sign-up sheet and asked the men’s team to keep it at their table,” Polamalu said. “By the end of Fajita Fest there were a bunch of girls that signed up.”

Unfortunately, the initial sign-up did not pan out because only two out of all who signed up attended the practice.

The team has 16 members but is always looking for more. Polamalu said the team has held more members in the past.

“We now have about 16 girls on our team ranging from girls who have been playing for a good number of years to people who just picked up their first lax stick when they joined,” player Iris Dominguez said.

Through the years, the team has welcomed many different members and coaches. In the team’s earlier years, some of the coaches volunteered their time.

“We have a new coach this year after having the same coach for two years, so we had to get used to a new coaching style,” Polamalu said. “But we adapted quickly and she is really great.”

Now, lacrosse coach Erin Maturo is paid, but all of the club’s coaches have graduated from EMU.

“I am really excited to be working at EMU, Maturo said. “And I’m committed to building this team into a competitive program.”

Recruitment and word of mouth has really paid off for this team.

Polamalu said the team keeps receiving dedicated players who decide to come back every year and it helps.

“We went from losing all our games the first season we played to winning more than half of the games, so we have grown exponentially,” Polamalu said.

Maturo said the season has been pretty good.

“We face a really broad range of competition, but I think we have played competitively so far,” Maturo said.

Not only is the team growing and improving, but so is the sport worldwide.

“One special member however is a foreign exchange student from Japan,” Polamalu said. “She has played in Japan for four years. She is amazingly good.”

After spending all of its competition time on the road, the lacrosse team will come back to the home of the Eagles to host a game.

“Usually we work off of what we have seen in our previous games that we lacked,” Polamulu said.
“So for this game we are going to really be focusing on midfield transitioning and winning the draws.”

The team will play against University of Michigan-Flint Sunday at 1 p.m. at Rynearson Stadium.

“We are hoping that during this game we will have more fans than usual since it’s a home game, so that will give us an exciting environment to play in,” first season lacrosse player Kaitlyn Ashbaugh said.

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