North Texas Daily

Lacrosse teams search for players and playoffs

Lacrosse teams search for players and playoffs

February 25
00:32 2016

Courtney Anderson | Staff Writer

@CPaigeA23

Pads, helmets and sticks can be seen clashing into each other nearly every weekend on the grassy intramural fields.

The club lacrosse team has been a club at UNT for nearly two decades but has hardly ever been front-page news, even when playing teams like Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Tennessee on a regular basis.

Biology junior Joshua Fuller has been playing the sport for about 10 years and is also the president of the North Texas men’s lacrosse club, which is 2-3 so far this season.

“We’ve made playoffs five times in the last few years,” Fuller said. “We have also made it to the championship once.”

But even with the team’s recent success, it was unable to make the playoffs last season. The failure only makes the men want to work harder, but there is one obstacle that stands in their way: recruiting players.

“It’s hard to get guys to join and recruit them because this is Texas and lacrosse isn’t that big of a sport yet,” Fuller, who also coaches local youth lacrosse teams, said. “But it’s gaining a lot of momentum.”

The women’s club, which is 2-2 so far this season, was also unable to participate in playoffs last year due to the infamous “Icepocalypse” that hit the North Texas area. Competing with the likes of Baylor University and the University of Texas, North Texas hopes to be one of the top five teams that move onto the playoffs and perhaps one of the two teams that goes to nationals.

Early childhood education senior Emily Doran, who is a member of the woman’s lacrosse club, said the women’s team shares the same recruitment struggle as the men’s club. Club sports, as opposed to conference team sports, are unable to email potential recruits that are still in high school or their programs.

“We do have a table at every freshman orientation and at Mean Green Fling and all the big UNT events,” Doran said. “So we’re definitely putting in effort to get the word out about people joining the team.”

Freshman Sara Salvati, senior Emily Doran, junior Abby Rismiller, and freshman Emma Khan pose for a group photo before practice at Traditions Field.Courtney Anderson | Staff Writer

Freshman Sara Salvati, senior Emily Doran, junior Abby Rismiller, and freshman Emma Khan pose for a group photo before practice at Traditions Field. Courtney Anderson | Staff Writer

Although many women come out to check out the sport, not everyone stays and officially joins. The majority of students come out in the fall instead of the spring because the thought of seeing the club at those large events at the beginning of the school year are still fresh in their minds, according to Doran.

For both Fuller and Doran, lacrosse was a big selling point when choosing to attend UNT.

“I played all through middle school and high school, so my deciding factor of coming to UNT was the fact they had a lacross team,” Doran said. “I knew I just wanted to play in here in college.”

But believe it or not, there are players for both the women and men who have barely even heard of lacrosse that are now enjoying being on the team. One of those is biology sophomore Chance Hornbeck, who played football, soccer, track, and wrestling in high school.

“Personally, I didn’t have any experience at all,” Hornbeck said. “I came in and randomly met a couple of guys on the team and saw a few games. I really enjoyed watching. It seemed like a fun sport. I got the equipment, came out, and immediately started practicing with the guys.”

With both clubs’ seasons just getting started, they hope more and more people come out to watch them play and even end up coming out to practice and join the team – no matter how experienced they are.

“It gets tough,” Fuller said, “but it all comes down to personal dedication and how much you’re willing to put into it outside of practice.”

Featured Image: The men’s lacrosse club huddles during a timeout against Texas Tech University. Courtney Anderson | Staff Writer

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