The USC Women’s Lacrosse team will be playing their first ever game this Saturday at the beautiful Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, in what will be the beginning of a new era athletic era here at USC; one dominated by Women’s Lacrosse.
The team will be throwing themselves right into the fire against one of the most successful programs in nation, preseason No. 1 Northwestern. The Wildcats are primed to win an incredible eighth national championship in nine years, setting the recent standard of success.
“It’s going to be really special to open up with Northwestern especially for the girls,” said Head Coach Lindsey Munday. “Playing the top team in Women’s Lacrosse will be very difficult They will test us in number of ways on Saturday, but its gonna be good for the girls.”
Luckily for the Trojans, one of Northwestern’s finest has taken her successful lacrosse pedigree and passion for the game to sunny Southern California. Head Coach Lindsey Munday believes in the talent pool on the west coast and loves the direction of her fledgling program.
“The passion and excitement for lacrosse is here in California and as a coach, that is the most fun thing,” according to Munday.
“When we host camps [in SoCal], girls are always excited to play and to take on the coaching. Plus these girls have potential and tons of athleticism which translates well.”
After years of negotiations and intense debate, USC announced it would make Women’s Lacrosse its 21st intercollegiate sport on Nov. 18, 2010. The Trojans hired Munday, one of the most accomplished players in the history of collegiate lacrosse, to lead the program through uncharted waters.
Munday played for current Northwestern Head Coach Kelley Amonte Hiller during her playing days from 2003-2006, and left school as part of one of the winningest senior class in school history and she orchestrated an offense that led the nation with 15.8 goals per game in 2006.
Her ties to Northwestern also stem off the field, as she was an assistant under current head coach Kelley Amonte Hiller.
“The foundation she has set in terms of hard work and striving to be better every day,” said Munday. “They are always trying to raise the bar on a daily basis. As a coach, you have to push your players to continue to grow and not rest on their laurels.”
During her playing career at Northwestern, Munday helped the Wildcats set school records for goals (333), assists (165) and points (498) in a season.That being said, Munday is excited and gracious for the opportunity to coach as this prestigious institution.
“I wanted to coach at a place where I thought I could be consistently successful,” said Munday. “It certainly can can be done here [at USC] in terms of winning national championships.”
What might be the best part of the women’s lacrosse team is the adversity they faced just to become a NCAA D-I program. Years of debate culminated in a successful bid to begin recruiting players to line the field.
Once the ladies arrived at USC, they had to sit out entire 2011-2012 school year until the program had enough legs underneath them to gain D-I status. Girls would travel to the practice field every day and put in the hours of effort it takes to win, only to continue the grind without the excitement of outside competition.
“I give them so much credit,” Munday says of her players. “It’s extremely difficult to train for entire year day on end without actual games. But, it provided foundation for this program for what we want to focus on in terms of hard work and determination”
The women’s lacrosse roster that you will see on Saturday is very young and inexperienced, yet loaded with talent all across the board. Coach Munday has 17 freshmen, 7 sophomores and 2 juniors on her squad this season. The most difficult perhaps, is that no seniors will take the field in 2013.
“Not one of them has played a D-I Lacrosse game,” according to Munday. “Although we are young, we have girls that are really excited and willing to put in the time and effort to make things happen.”
After an entire year of anticipation the much-awaited matchup has finally arrived. The USC Women’s Lacrosse Team will square with Northwestern at the Coliseum this Saturday, and the game itself is part of a weekend tournament to kick off the Lacrosse season.
“Everyone is really excited, we are ready to begin the journey,” said Munday. “Success does not happen overnight, it is going to be hard. The players are ready and we are so fired up to get this going.”
On that note, we asked Coach Munday about her goals in the teams first match on Saturday.
“We are not worried about the score and how we are going to match up,” according to Munday. “Instead, we are worried about competing and giving it our all out there for the fans and for ourselves.”
After the Trojans exciting opener, they will begin play from the friendly confines of McAllister Field. “McAllister reminds me of my field in college with a more intimate atmosphere,” from Munday’s perspective. “The fans are sorta right there and it will be a cool atmosphere all season long.”
Saturday’s matchup should be worthwhile for a multitude of reasons: the big stage, the large crowd, and the historically-strong opponent. The biggest motivation for USC lies in the excitement that the Women’s Lacrosse program has been storing up for this epic event.
“There are so many factors surrounding this game its incredible. At the end of the day however, we need to put that aside and give our fans a good product.”
The Women of Troy will square off at 3 p.m., in a game that will definitely give fans their money’s worth.