California Dreaming: Women’s Lacrosse uses spring break trip to bond, learn

Epke Paquette, Herald reporter

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — The women’s lacrosse team traveled to Laguna Beach, Calif. this spring break, but not to party on the beach. They played the University of Redlands Bulldogs and the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens in two non-conference games.

According to Head Coach Jennifer Fox, the team’s experience traveling together was extremely beneficial to the team chemistry and playing style.

“Spring break is my favorite because they’re professional athletes for the week. They don’t have school or anything else to focus on,” Coach Fox said. “It’s basically wake up, eat, talk lacrosse, play lacrosse and hang out with your best friends.”

The team traveled about an hour north of Laguna Beach on Tuesday night for their first game with the University of Redlands and then again on Friday night for their second game with Pomona College and Pitzer College.

“It was unbelievable,” Fox said. “Yeah, we lost, but I really thought it was a hard-fought battle both games.”

Coach Fox noted that the California teams play with a certain untamed edge that separates the West Coast teams from those on the East Coast.

“It was different. The first team we played all wore helmets, so it’s like a different mentality. With helmets on, it’s almost like they’re fearless because they’re protected,” she said.

Sophomore defender Lauren Flahive and freshman midfielder Madi Drain came alive during the two games, according to Fox. Flahive, who was chosen for All-CCC First Team last season as a freshman defender, had 10 draw controls during the Redlands game. She continues to improve on her new position as a midfielder.

The entirety of the attack squad earned an honorable mention from Coach Fox.

“I love our attack right now. I saw our attack in our first game really get their mojo, which I hadn’t seen that yet this season,” Fox said. “They’ve really stepped up.” 

In terms of team bonding, Coach Fox is thrilled with the team’s chemistry.

“Just traveling as a team, you learn a lot about each other. I think they’re getting tighter,” Fox said. “We made huge strides from the beginning of the week to the end.”

Looking forward the future, Coach Fox says she’s hoping the team will think smarter, not harder.

“Coming from California, I think now it’s about being smarter in scenarios with the possession clock,” Coach Fox said. “Our girls had some really big step-ups. At the end of the day, I think it’s gonna make us stronger.”