April 30, 2010
Lacrosse, known as the “fastest sport on two feet,” has raced onto the Luther College campus.
This spring, two Luther first-year students created the college’s women’s lacrosse team, the newest of its club sport teams, and more than 20 women have signed up for the exciting, and sometimes physical, field sport.
Team captains Anna DiCecco and Kelsey Mundell started talking about a women’s lacrosse team immediately after they arrived on campus last fall.
“We both came from the same town, and we were both captains of our high school lacrosse teams,” said DiCecco. “Once we realized we were both coming to Luther, we knew we wanted to start a team.”
DiCecco, the daughter of Joe and Sara DiCecco of Rochester, is a 2009 graduate of Rochester Lourdes High School. She is an athletic training major at Luther.
Mundell, the daughter of William and Beth Mundell of Rochester, is a 2009 graduate of Rochester Century High School. She is a biology major at Luther.
Both love lacrosse, a 12-player game played on a 100-yard field that has elements of field hockey, soccer and rugby—with a ball and stick.
With the help of Rob Larson, Luther executive director of communications and marketing, DiCecco and Mundell soon established the lacrosse team as an official Luther club sport and began recruiting potential players for the team.
Kelsey Olson, a Luther junior from Chanhassen, Minn., decided to join the team after hearing about lacrosse from a friend on campus.
“I have always wanted to participate in a collegiate sport,” said Olson, “and because this sport is new to campus, it was a perfect opportunity for me to learn a new sport with a great group of girls.”
Since recruitment began in early March, the Luther team has already grown to include nearly 30 players.
“Some of our players played in high school, and for some this is their first experience with lacrosse,” said DiCecco. “Regardless of experience, we are all excited to learn and play the game.”
Played in two 30-minute halves, the game of lacrosse requires 12 players: three defenders, three attackers, five midfielders, and a goalkeeper. Players use a lacrosse stick, a three-foot pole with a hand-sized webbing called a basket at one end, to catch, carry and pass a solid rubber ball in an effort to score by hurling the ball into the opponent’s goal.
“Right now, we are working on learning the basics of the game,” said Mundell. “As the team progresses, our goal is to schedule scrimmages with the city team, club leagues from other towns, and eventually, teams from other colleges.”
As with all Luther club sport teams, there is no formal coach on the lacrosse club. Instead, the team is led by its captains, who are responsible for scheduling games, scrimmages and practices.
“Being a captain now versus in high school is a completely different experience,” said DiCecco. “We have suddenly gone from being the links to the coaches to being the people selecting the drills, running practice, and making the decisions.”
After 10 practice sessions, the team is already gaining an understanding for the game of lacrosse.
“We are all learning together,” said Olson. “After each practice we discuss what drills worked, what we feel comfortable with and what still needs some work. It’s a very fun atmosphere.”
Lacrosse is of the fastest growing collegiate sports. There are currently 88 Division I, 37 Division II and 154 Division III NCAA-sanctioned women’s lacrosse teams across the country, plus club and intramural teams at hundreds of colleges.