When people find out where I’m from, the first question that pops into their head is, “Why are you here?” And my answer will always be the same — I’m here, because I belong here. Moving from California to Michigan was unexpectedly easy due to several factors: my family, my teammates, and my coaches.
My family was very supportive when I made my decision to move 2,186.7 miles away from home (and yes, I googled that). They understood my passion for the game and knew that I would strive academically at a school like Albion. It was hard for me to leave my family back in California, but, I’ve made a new one here in Michigan.
My teammates made my transition from California to Michigan almost seamless; I’ve felt like I’ve played with and known them my whole life. Throughout the year, from having morning conditioning to in-season workouts and spending almost every day together, they’ve made coming to Albion the best decision I’ve ever made. I have a group of girls who I can talk to and have meals with — my teammates have become sisters to me. From pre-season challenges to Zoolympics, my teammates show an unconditional support — “Got your back” — on and off the field. Knowing that these 18 young women have my back gives me the utmost confidence in myself.
Coach Loecker and Coach Em have supplied me with the tools I need to strive here at Albion (along with a trillion nicknames). Coach Loecker and Coach Em always have their door open to talk about academics, lacrosse, and life. They’ve created a safe space for myself and my teammates where we can be comfortable to be ourselves.
After an away game I thought I lost an important possession; right when I got into the locker room, I noticed it was gone. So Molly (our team manager) and I went outside to look for it on the field. We bumped into Coach and Coach Em and all of us frantically searched for it on the field. Meanwhile, my whole team in the locker room were also looking for this item. Little did I know, it was with me the whole time. My teammates and coaches knew how important this possession is to me, and they felt that frantic feeling right along with me. This story is just a little example of the love my teammates and coaches have for everyone who is a part of ACWL.
Having this group of people as a support system has made this a once in a lifetime experience.
Jenina Villabroza, Freshman GK #33