The women’s lacrosse team is an unofficial UC Santa Cruz club playing and practicing on UCSC turf. Despite a high number of new recruits this year, the team has not succeeded in becoming a registered UCSC club.
Last year was the third year that women’s lacrosse existed as a competitive team students could join. Assisting coach Janine Bodea and club president Laura Harris manage the team independently.
“The insurance is in my name,” Harris said. “Every step of the way we’ve been fighting. I had to go in front of the board of club sports to ask permission to use the OPERS field for a home game.”
This last season proved to be successful for the team, which received first place in North Division of Division II and third place all around in Divison II.
The team thrives without being registered, but registration would give the team rights to use the Office of Physical Education, Recreation and Sports field and a small sum of money for transportation, hospitality and refereeing fees.
It’s not that women’s lacrosse does not fit in with the program, UCSC club sports director Kevin “Skippy” Givens said, but that club sports funding is unavailable for the team.
A registered club team can receive up to $3,000 per quarter for becoming official through the registration process.
The UCSC club sports program plans on adding an assistant director, which, Givens said, should also free up the time he dedicates to managing the registered club teams and allow him to add some new teams to the mix.
“Things are shifting,” Givens said. “With any luck, women’s lacrosse will be at the top of that list of new teams to add.”
Givens said several teams have proposed to be registered UCSC clubs, including surfing, roller hockey, women’s soccer and bass fishing. These teams also cannot find funding from the club sports program because Givens currently does not have more funds to allocate.
Givens provides guidance to women’s lacrosse in contacting other teams, finding fields and transportation, none of which are in his official capacity as director of club sports.
“Skippy’s helping us,” Harris said. “Any time we’ve needed help he’s stepped in to help with planning.”
With a group of five newcomers for this season, in addition to 18 veterans, the team is an established club associated, if not officially, with UCSC.
The seniors call these players the “new blood.” Janine Bodea, assisting coach, said its important to create good team chemistry with the established veterans.
“In scientific terms, usually you don’t want to mix old blood and new blood,” Bodea said. “But it’s very comforting to see how much they want to be a team.”
Despite an awkward combination of experienced veterans and newcomers, some of whom have never played lacrosse, the team is gelling together. Many of the newcomers have proven to be athletic and quick learners.
“It took a little bit to get everyone to mesh, but it’s working out,” Harris said.
Bodea is impressed with the newcomers’ work ethic.
“If there’s something that someone isn’t getting at practice, they don’t want to brush it away as a rookie mistake,” Bodea said. “They want to work on it now.”
The women’s lacrosse club at UCSC will play their next game on Feb. 9 versus San Jose State University on the East Field.