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UNT women’s lacrosse gears up for spring season

UNT women’s lacrosse gears up for spring season

UNT women’s lacrosse gears up for spring season
January 19
20:52 2019

With the spring semester underway, the UNT women’s lacrosse team is looking forward to another season after placing fourth in their conference division last year.

Captain and sports management senior Sara Salavati believes that the team will be able to return to the playoffs this year and make the championships.

“We have a lot of good players this year,” Salavati said. “Our season should be really good.”

UNT women’s lacrosse is division II team in the Texas Women’s Lacrosse League. Each year, the teams are required to play seven to nine games to qualify for the playoffs in April, they play against both division I and II teams. If they make it to playoffs, they compete against other division II teams for a spot at nationals.

The team practices twice a week but offers lessons outside of the practice hours for team members to improve their skills. Art education sophomore Olivia Jennings said that the team tries to practice as much as they can even outside of official practice times.

“Throughout our season the girls will come out to practice or have one-on-ones or small group practice to help improve their skills,” Jennings said.

The women’s lacrosse team is managed and coached by the three captains–  Salavati, Jennings and biology senior Emma Kahn. By alternating their coaching schedules, the captains are able to balance their school work with lacrosse and grow a connection with the team.

“When you’re having an off day you may not think your coach will understand,” Jennings said. “Luckily for us, being the teammates and the coaches, we can relate to the rest of the group.”

The girls do not have the guidance of a professional coach for the team, however this does not stop them from taking on responsibilities. On top of managing trips, school and finances, the three team captains are able to put in extra work to help motivate the other members. 

The team has 18 players and is expecting to gain more before the spring season kicks off. Even with new players joining, the teammates learn from each other. Each captain is knowledgeable with different areas of lacrosse, they’re able to cover more drills during practice, helping the team as a whole.

Senior Emma Khan, one of the three captains of the women’s lacrosse team, speaks to her teammates during practice Wednesday night at Traditions Field. The team is a club sport and the captains coach, plan trips and handle the team’s finances. Image by Samuel Gomez. 

“I was a new player and I understand what they’re are going through,” Kahn said. “We just remind them that they’re going to get better. You just have to keep trying.”

Each year US Lacrosse releases new rules for both men and women’s game. While the captains are coaching their teammates, they are learning the new rules right alongside them.

“It was a little chaotic our first game,” Salavati said. “I’ve been playing for nine years with the same rules and then they change so it’s kind of hard to adjust how you play.”

With the team practicing six hours minimum a week, they feel optimistic going into their season. Jennings said she’s looking forward to team bonding while also improving their athleticism. 

“Seeing the growth of all the girls coming together so we can have a bond on and off the field is what I’m looking forward to the most,” Jennings said. “I’m really excited to see how we grow together.”

The UNT women’s lacrosse team practices Monday and Wednesday from  7 p.m.- 9 p.m and Thursday 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. on Traditions Field. They will be competing in their first scrimmage Jan. 26 against SMU. 

Featured Image: The women’s lacrosse team practices at Traditions Field on Wednesday nights. The women’s lacrosse first scrimmage is January 26 against Tarleton State University. Image by Samuel Gomez. 

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Bayleigh Swanton

Bayleigh Swanton

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