Saratoga High adds girls’ lacrosse to spring sports roster

February 11, 2009 — by Ben Clement

It’s Monday morning and the halls are bustling with students clad in the usual sweat shirts and Ugg boots, but something new stands out amongst the crowd: the lacrosse sticks wielded by both boys and girls.

Lacrosse, although traditionally a boys’ sport, is crossing gender lines at Saratoga High School with the inception of a girls’ lacrosse team to complement the newly formed boys’ team. Despite early reports that there would not be a separate team for girls, Saratoga High has added a JV girls’ lacrosse team to its spring sports roster.

The team was formed because of the large amount of interest, said athletic director Peter Jordan. The school could not have accurately predicted at the start of the school year because, unlike the boys’ team, there is no girls’ club team in the area. A new option allowing athletes to participate in lacrosse and track simultaneous also helped to boost the number of those interested.

Despite the chaos, the athletic department managed to quickly assemble a coaching staff and schedule games.

History teacher Rick Ellis will be the head coach along with Jordan. They have also enlisted the help of another coach, Merryl Geisse, who played girls’ high school and collegiate lacrosse.

“We’re super lucky to have her,” said Ellis, “but, unfortunately, she’s only able to be here two days a week in the evenings, so the girls practice from 5 to 7 on Mondays and Wednesdays and in the afternoons on Tuesday and Thursday.”

Because Saratoga will not have a varsity team this year, some scheduling problems arose in terms of finding officials to referee the games, so the JV team has paired up with Harker’s varsity team. Harker will play the opposing school’s varsity team, while Saratoga takes on the school’s JV team, said Ellis.

Although many of the girls are new to the sport, the level of enthusiasm they have shown is high.

“We have a lot of girls on the team and everyone is really excited to be learning how to play,” said sophomore Vanessa Block.

Practices are currently skill based, and while the girls are presently working on the basic skills of the sport, Ellis hopes to have the girls ready to scrimmage early in the season.

With little more than a month left until the season begins, the girls are feeling confident.

“Although most of us are just learning how to play, I think the coaches have done a great job of getting us off to a good start,” said Block.

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