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Women’s Lacrosse Team Progresses With Interim Head Coach

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Women’s Lacrosse Team Progresses With Interim Head Coach


On April 12, the women’s lacrosse team played their home opener against the Falcons, Wisconsin Lacrosse (9-3) as well as their senior day match against the Tigers, Colorado College (10-3). (Unfortunately, the Pirates lost both games (5-15, Wisconsin Lacrosse) (3-23, Colorado College) Despite losing their head coach at the beginning of the year and struggling with the loss of players from the previous season, the girls continued with their season under the guidance of interim head coach Taylor Beretich. 

At the beginning of the school year, the former head coach (Insert name) resigned. This left Coach Beretich to take her spot as the interim head coach. “Stepping into the head coach position has been a great experience as it allows me to lead and grow as the coach,” said Coach Beretich. Due to the change in coaches, the returners had to take over teaching the fundamentals to the walk ons. 

Photo by Carolyn Bray

During the offseason, return players spent some time convincing their friends to walk on the team due to the lack of returning players. Senior and one of the lead scorers, Raquel Kurth, explained the reason for the multiple walk-ons. “In the previous years, the program struggled with recruitment being a priority and are facing the challenges of that this year. This year is a rebuilding year. Our walk-ons were truly a saving grace; they showed up with dedication and hard work to improve their game.” 

Their practices started off with the returners teaching the walk-ons the fundamentals. “We would start practices by separating drills based on our returners and walk-ons to help new players with the basics while keeping the intensity up. But now, there’s no separation, thanks to the hard work of the players,” said Kurth.  

First-year and attacker Ashlyn Cadena was one of the many who walked on. “I was recruited during Welcome Week by one of the current players. When she asked me about lacrosse, I actually had no idea what she was referring to,” said Cadena. Cadena revealed that she had actually played tennis all of her high school years. She reflected on how the transition was for her. “The transition from tennis to lacrosse was a little difficult. I had to get used to playing on grass fields with cleats on, instead of court shoes that I was used to. I had to learn to keep my head on the swivel and be aware of my teammates and opponent’s positions and movements at all times. But what did translate well to lacrosse was my eye-hand coordination and my ability to have both sides of my body on the same level. This was from my training in tennis and it helped me gage the ball well.” 

Photo by Carolyn Bray

One of the walk-ons was a senior who played basketball for the Pirates, Hallie Mayfield. “Prior to February, I had never touched a lacrosse stick so everything was new to me! I also thought it would be a really fun opportunity to try something new for the remainder of my senior year,” said Mayfield. “The returners were very patient in teaching us the game and basics of lacrosse.”

Over Christmas break, their season schedule was set and posted. The team would spend the majority of their season playing out of state, only playing two home games and traveling almost every week starting in March. Coach Beretich saw the positive in travel. “Traveling allows me to get to know my players better and appreciate what they have to offer. The travel aspect of the season affects our practices positively rather than negatively because it helps create a great team dynamic which translates into practices and during games.” However, traveling for the majority of the season also challenges the players to time manage their classes and practices. “It’s pretty cool to travel out of state because I rarely did that before college. But at the same time, it’s very stressful to turn in assignments, and prepare for missed lectures, labs, or whatever it is. It has been a wild ride, finding that balance, but I know this experience will help me tremendously in the long run,” said Cadena. 

Photo by Carolyn Bray

Despite their losses at their home matches, the girls look forward to a brighter future with the program. One thing for sure is that Kurth and Cantu are shining stats. Cecilla Cantu currently has scored 29 points overall with a shots on goal percentage of 76.2% this season while Kurth scored 51 points overall and 84.3% shots on goal percentage. This makes the pair the leading scorers on the team. Cantu revealed what helps her with her scoring. “Growing up, I played a lot of men’s lacrosse games. This allowed me to bring unique elements to my style of play. I learned handles, moves and plays that aren’t typically taught to women.” Both of their stats are not from just training, their coaches, family members, and loved ones all motivates them to play better.   

Two of the fiver seniors, Kurth and Mayfield, give their team a word of advice to the team. “Remember to have fun; that’s usually where you play your best,” said Mayfield. Kurth wants to remind the team of something important. “This team is a family. Continue to respect and love each other. There’s nothing more that I want from a teammate but to share our passion for the sport.”

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