Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
By Maggie Kane Editor-in-Chief
Kalamazoo College will add a varsity women’s lacrosse team to the athletics roster next year in a move that may shut down the current club team.
Senior captains Caroline Michniak and Grace Mandry will handle the coaching for the team this year.
“I think it says a lot for the club team program that has been here that they’ve had a very established program,” said Emilia Ward, the recently hired head coach for next year.
The new team will be part of the MIAA conference, which will start sponsoring women’s lacrosse this spring.
Kristin Smith, director of athletics, stressed that the department will not actively shut down the student-run club.
“There was some concern whether we would eliminate the club team and if the varsity team would replace the club team, and that’s not the case,” Smith said.
But Ward and Michniak foresee a large drop in club involvement. Ward, who helped to start the lacrosse program at Adrian College, said club sports usually do not exist alongside varsity teams at smaller schools.
Michniak said the change will benefit the team. The other club teams that K plays have coaches, and she said it has been getting harder to compete.
“Every year it’s becoming harder and harder to compete with that institutional support,” she said. “I think with the new field, it’s a great time to transition.”
Ward has been in contact with the current student coaches and plans to drop by at practices. She will be helping to train players more as the year goes on.
“I’ll be there to help out as much as they want and obviously to help transition the girls who do want to come over to the varsity level for next year,” she said.
Hannah Bogard K’15 plans to stay involved in the team during her time at K. She feels the biggest change will be in the level of commitment required to be on the team.
“Without a coach it’s hard to have the discipline needed to train to compete,” Bogard said. “The commitment for players will be bigger time wise, but we can get quite a bit stronger as far as pulling some wins.”
The team will remain at the club level this year. Their first tournament is Oct. 6.