by Grace Dobson
The game of women’s lacrosse is composed of a thousand rules, however, this fast-pass, energized game is a thrill to watch. The game begins with a draw in the center of a field with two opposing players facing each other. Their sticks are at the ready, the backs of their sticks facing each other. In between the stick a ball lies in wait.
An official begins to draw away from the players. Once their hand is brought down and whistle blown, the ball skyrockets upwards. Sticks battle in the air to gain control of the ball. Cleats dig into the earth, communication is thrown out and muscles are primed.
Basic rules of the game are that two opposing teams are battling for a higher number of points. Points can be gained through getting a ball in the back of the net.
The women’s lacrosse team at Greensboro College welcomes many that are new to the rules of lacrosse. However, this does not deter the growth of the program. In a safe, inclusive environment, new players are allowed to develop their skills on the field alongside seasoned players who are perfecting theirs. The team is led by head coach Mallory Zelawski, assistant coach Lauren Wilson and volunteer coach Logan Schnabl.
Sada Hollowell, a senior from Norfolk, Va., shared that the lacrosse program at GC has provided her with a lot of personal growth opportunities. She looks forward to hitting a record of 400 saves this season. Additionally, she looks forward to creating good bonds with her teammates. For her, “the team has become a place I can call home.”
Sabrina Speake, a junior from Millsboro, Del., wants others to know that this team is – and will always be – one of a kind.
“Teammates and coaches with vast experiences and backgrounds find close connections with one another,” she said. “The inclusivity on the team is beyond outstanding.” Alex Prillaman, a senior from Rocky Mount, Va., has a different perspective as a new member of the sport and team. As a newer player, Prillaman has felt welcomed into the fold and into an environment that she states as a family atmosphere.
Aniyah Quinlan, a junior from Brown Summit, N.C., is a firm believer in the program. Though there were rocky points due to COVID-19, she states, “those obstacles make the program more unified.” Quinlan also noted no change in team culture from season to season. The environment and teammates were positively consistent. She would love others to know that lacrosse is a sport that has many parallels to other sports.
“The women’s lacrosse team plays in the NCAA USA South Conference,” said Coach Zelawski. “The USA South Conference has been split into two conferences for several sports (an east and west division). However, due to a smaller number of schools participating in Women’s Lacrosse we have remained a single conference. This means that our travel is a bit longer than other sports at Greensboro College. We travel to play Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala. as well as to play Piedmont University in Demorest, Ga. Both trips require overnight stays in hotels and long bus travel but provide the team opportunities to build their team bonds.
“The women’s lacrosse team will be traveling to Piedmont this year to play and we will be staying in a large house as a whole team. The coaching staff will cook a homemade dinner for the team the night before the game, and a wholesome breakfast the morning before our game. Much of the rest of our travel is to closer locations, typically within a two-hour drive.”
Zelawski also mentioned that the team environment on the women’s lacrosse team is one of inclusivity, positivity and support.
“We have many brand-new players on the team and embrace teaching them the game,” she said. “Because the team is small, we have the ability to build strong bonds between all of the players and develop friendships that extend beyond the lacrosse field and locker room. Team members are there for one another when someone is having a rough day and celebrate with them when something positive happens. We are actively building connections that will remain after players graduate from Greensboro College.”
Make sure to support the team on Feb. 28 for their season opener on Pride Field at 4 p.m.