2018 ACWL Spring Banquet — 3 Players, 3 Perspectives

Spring Trip, Newport Beach, CA, 2018

During this year’s banquet, we had a number of student-athlete speakers. Here are three unique perspectives from this year’s team — all different classes, different experiences. Enjoy and GO BRITS!

Hello everyone! My name is Kierstin Rose and I was a freshman during this amazing 2017-2018 lacrosse season. I wanted to give all of you insight on some of the biggest lessons I learned this year.

First things first, I learned that I could actually use my left hand which which was a huge development for me. But the biggest and most important lesson I learned is that this team is a family. Coming to Albion was a completely new experience, I was on my own for the first time and had no idea what to do next. Luckily, the captains had already planned a team dinner in the Keller.

Now I know at the beginning I was nowhere near being the most talkative person, let’s be real it took me weeks to tell you guys I prefer to be called Krose, but times like those are the ones I am most thankful for. The times where we were together and the people around us knew the women’s lacrosse team was near, like at the Hall of Fame dinner…the trips, bus rides, and movies that I had never seen before but now have strong opinions about…added greatly to my understanding of what it means to be a part of a team that genuinely cares about one another. Being with this team has made me realize that this season was so much more than I expected it to be. I drastically underestimated how much I would learn and from whom. I can honestly tell you that I have learned something from every single person on this team including Eddie and Jenna.

This entire college experience has changed the person I am and will continue to change me throughout my years here at Albion with the help of this team. For instance — speaking in our team meetings has showed me that my voice has value, which has made me better in classroom discussions because I’m no longer hesitant to speak. Being pushed in practice has showed me that I am more mentally tough than I give myself credit for; if we can run those 100s, honestly, there’s nothing that can stop us. And above all else, if I ever feel like I am alone or have something I’m going through there will always be open ears waiting for me. I cannot put into words how appreciative I am for each and everyone of you.

In the years to come, I strive to develop some of the leadership qualities that our new alumni possess. Thank you former seniors for constantly being an amazing embodiment of what it means to be a Brit. Thank you coaches for being fantastic teachers and like my second moms. Thank you coach Mehl for making me stronger. Thank you Lee family for everything you’ve done for this team. Thank you Eddie for keeping me healthy. Thank you parents for all that you do and for giving me my amazing teammates.

I could not have asked for a better first year experience. Thank you.

#9 Kierstin Rose, Freshman Attack, Indianapolis, IN

Brits.

We were born in January. This new ACWL, this new team with all of these new people. We were cold, saw snow for the first time, and woke up early to start working towards something we couldn’t quite see yet.

We learned to ride a bike with training wheels in February. We had our first two games (NMU and Hanover) where we put some of our new tools to use. But, we had a lot of growing up to do.

We experienced the confusing times of “puberty” in March. We went to California, practiced with the mountains on the horizon and our team changed. It wasn’t the silent-cage-fighting, it wasn’t Drop the Mic, it wasn’t the beach or the much needed sunshine, it wasn’t watching whales, it wasn’t the new pregame songs, it wasn’t In-and Out (although that changed my life). It was that game. Redlands. According to the scoreboard, yes, we lost. But we gained so much more. We realized this in the locker room and nothing has ever felt so good yet looked so bad (aka we are ALL ugly criers). Coming back to Michigan we faced another mountain. We had to be honest with our coaches, teammates and with ourselves. We faced the truth together. We realized this opportunity was a gift not a right. We became grateful. Grateful for this program, our history, our seniors, and our teammates.

We took off our training wheels and rode our 45-person bike in April.

In May, that life has passed but we live on. Some of us graduated, moving on to the next chapter. And the rest of us sit eagerly for our next life together.

There were a lot of uncontrollables this season. Injuries, the weather at Adrian, the weather at Olivet, and I could go on, especially about the weather. But we learned these are called uncontrollables for a reason and, of course, that it was always “70 and sunny” for a Brit. I learned as long as your team has your back and you have theirs, no matter what happens, no matter how long your jersey sits on the hanger, no matter how little time you have, no matter what you have to sacrifice, no matter what you go through — you will always have ACWL.

This season was so special for me because this team is so special to me. So, thank you.

#11 Marah Ranger, Sophomore Attack, Kalamazoo, MI

As I packed my bag last weekend, I couldn’t help but feel a little distraught thinking about how I felt our team should have been practicing for the next championship instead of packing up our locker room.

My sister shouted from the bathroom a quote on wall that reads “Your biggest competition is yourself.” She said this in a super goofy voice, in an attempt to make me laugh. I flashed back to my freshman year remembering the first time I read that and smiled being my pumped lil freshman self, excited to be on the Albion women’s lax team.

As I packed my bag, I reminisced on my four years at Albion. I said to my sister — isn’t that crazy I’ve been here in this locker room for four years? It’s seen me at my best and my worst times. It’s seen me as a young sassy freshman who probably annoyed the hell out of coach for never listening and not playing up to my full potential.

It’s seen me as an even sassier sophomore who was abruptly changed from attack to defense one day because coach had had enough. It has seen me as a young leader who needed to step into a position I felt I wasn’t yet fit for. And it’s seen me as a sassy yet mature senior who has become so incredibly grateful for this amazing opportunity.

As I packed my bag, I not only packed the practice clothes, 20 hair ties I borrowed from people for the dragon braid, and cleats, of course. I also packed the intangible things, like invaluable leadership skills, work ethic, strategic thinking and an improved sense of character, all thanks to my coaches and to my teammates.

Coach Shanta and Coach Em, you both are such incredible role models to me as you recognize potential, set the standards high and won’t hold us to anything less.

To my teammates, one of our goals was to become a team of leaders and I feel confident standing here saying that there is a room full of leaders in front of me. I am confident in saying we are not the same team we were this January. We have worked hard to develop into strong, considerate leaders — that has been reflected on and off the field. We couldn’t have done that without executing our roles to the fullest and beyond, and for holding each other accountable to do so.

As we pack our bags some will move on to the next chapter of their lives and get jobs and miss the “ole albion days”, while others pack their bags to enjoy the summer and look forward to their next or last year at Albion.

Regardless of what comes next, I am so thankful this amazing group of young women was able to share the experience of this season and Albion women’s lacrosse will always hold a special place in all of our hearts.

As we pack and unpack our bags for whatever we are up to next, something that we will always take with us are the memories made, the laughs we shared, the tears we cried, our unforgettable coaches, and these bonds that will never be broken.

A huge thank you for all those who make this possible…coaches, teammates, Melissa, Leah, Coach Mehl, Bobby…

#10 Lauren Wiegand, Senior Midfield, Brighton, MI

MIAA Tournament, 2018

From The Field To The Sideline

Three of our current ACWL players took up coaching over the summer.

This past summer we (Attacker Cait Gaitley and Midfielder Shannon Kahl) were both fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be lacrosse coaches. We worked with girls at the middle school and high school age. This was a dream job for the both of us: teaching lacrosse with a teammate, and traveling for the summer. The girls reminded us why we both had gotten into the game, and many memories were made.

One of our favorite memories while coaching was being able to see what we had taught the girls at practice manifest itself on the field. For example, we worked on showing the girls how to hitch fake and shoot where they came from at practice. At the next tournament one of our players perfectly executed this, and right after she scored she looked at the both of us and said, “coach I did it!” It was such a good feeling to know that we had helped someone improve their skills, and we were able to see it first hand.

While it was fun and rewarding, we had our fair share of challenges along the way. As players, we have high lax IQ’s, but our coaching IQ’s were lower. Regardless, we were ready for the challenge. The change in mindset from player to coach was completely different and it took a little to get used to. We could not physically be on the field doing the plays, or directing teammates. We had to stand on the sideline getting our points across in a way that was direct and made sense, all while keeping it fun. It took patience, getting to know our players, learning how to work together as co-coaches, and learning how the program ran. As a coach there is a side to game day or tournament day that as players you don’t see. Much more goes into it than meets the eye: the line up preparation, the plays, adapting to the other team, etc. Learning this new perspective turned us into much more well rounded players and gave us a new appreciation for everything our coaching staff does.

Coaching allowed us to make new friends, share our love for lacrosse, learn a lot, and make new memories. We both grew in ways more than one. We became closer, learned to effectively communicate our thoughts, and fell in love with the game all over again from a different perspective.

— #6 Cait Gaitley & #14 Shannon Kahl, Class of 2018

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to be a lacrosse coach for the travel team I used to play for in high school. I had no idea how much this experience would impact my lacrosse life. I came in with no prior coaching experience and I wasn’t aware of how much work went into planning a practice and a game plan.

Naturally, I reverted to what I have learned here at Albion and I simplified a lot of our drills for practice. I couldn’t believe how much I learned about the drills when I was coaching them that I didn’t realize as a player. I also began to understand the emotions coaches experience on game day. You could see me on the sidelines crutching around to give advice (and just to pace because I got very anxious), getting the team excited about the game and trying to give my team the energy I had in the morning before the first game of each tournament (thanks to my expresso). But I also experienced how much a coach can genuinely care about their team and their progress as players and people. I was able to work side-by-side with an amazing coach that guided me through the experience and became a really close friend. I loved traveling with the team and being a part of the Bandit family again.

I played with a lot of the girls I coached this summer on previous teams, so the change from teammate to coach was a bit of an obstacle. I had to find out where I fit in as a part of the team again, yet with a different position. However, without my team over the summer, I wouldn’t have made it through my [ACL injury] recovery because they worked so hard and made coaching super fun even though they hit my knee multiple times with balls right after surgery and we constantly heard bagpipes all through practice (haha).

Now that the summer is over, and I have this amazing experience behind me, I think more about the deeper purpose for a drill, appreciate my coaches even more and have a lot more confidence in my abilities as a coach, teammate, and player.

— #11 Marah Ranger, Class of 2020

Once a Brit, always a Brit.

On April 24, we held our annual Senior Student-Athlete Recognition Ceremony. Not only were our players honored to receive Senior Student-Athlete of the Year (Kadie Koolwick, Midfield) and the Kovalchik Scholar-Athlete Award Nomination (Victoria Della Pia, Goalkeeper) — one of our seniors was asked to speak at the event. Here is the speech in full — an excellent conclusion to the event, given by Julie Wood (Attacker, pictured below). Julie is a senior two-year captain for the Brits.

Julie Wood

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Julie Wood and I am a senior on the Albion College women’s lacrosse team. It is an honor to be standing up here in front of all of you to give a few final remarks on the closing of the 2015-2016 season.

Athletics have always been a huge part of my life, as I am sure they have been for all of you as well. Eight years ago, if I was asked if I wanted to play college lacrosse, I couldn’t have even imagined it as a possibility.  Now, as I stand here in front of all of you with a few short weeks left in my season, I couldn’t imagine my college career without it. There is a lot to say about an individual who commits to four years of being a college athlete. We learn a lot more than how to be better at our sport. We learn to manage our time, work as a group, handle pressure and even build our character along the way. When you are a part of a college team, you are committing to more than just playing a sport.  You are committing to being a part of the whole Albion athletic community.

Being a part of this community has changed my life. In just 3 months, I have spent roughly 157 hours at practice, in the weight room and in the varsity lounge. On top of that there have been additional hours spent in my Coach’s office, one on one sessions in the Dow Center, travel time to away games, study tables, clinics, our games, and more. In other words, a little over 10% of all my time in the last three months has been spent with my team – building a family within the community.  As seniors, each year we’ve built new and stronger connections on our teams and with other athletes. Our relationships with all of the athletic faculty also continued to grow with each hour spent at the Dow.

Each one of us has been influenced by our teammates in some way. Our coaches, trainers and the athletic faculty have also hugely impacted our lives. Just this year alone, several Albion coaches have supported my team. From 6:00am morning conditioning with the basketball coaches, being taught how to squat properly in the weight room by football staff, Coach Scott from women’s soccer teaching us defensive tactics at practice, the track coaches putting up with our missed catches while their team runs sprints, to Coach DeCola from men’s lacrosse teaching us invaluable life lessons about field mice at SAAC clinics, we’ve been impacted by so many others in the athletic community simply by being a part of a team.

The support we have for each other on this campus is amazing. In the four years I have been here, my respect for other athletes has grown immensely. It’s not easy to be a student-athlete, but with the support of the athletic community it’s possible to commit to four years. So freshmen, hang tight because not only is each year different, but they go by very fast too.

During our four years, we’ve seen victories, losses, shed some tears, shared in laughs, thought we were going to pass out running sprints, ate way too much with our teammates, and most importantly we established great relationships with the people who helped us through this journey.

The athletic staff has been a huge help in keeping the joy of being a Briton alive. Matt Arend and Melissa Walton (Athletic Directors) have done a wonderful job at bringing athletes together through supporting our coaches, influencing us to always and only wear purple and gold in the Dow, and making SAAC a really cool organization to be a part of. Thank you for all that you do for the athletic community. We wouldn’t be as strong without both of you. Bobby Lee (Sports Information Director), thank you for always bringing your ‘A’ game over the loud speaker, writing awesome game recaps to read on bus rides home and making gobrits.com and all of our social media a great representation of Albion Athletics. Andy Lawrence (Head Athletic Trainer), we appreciate the hell out of ya. Sometimes I think athletes come in for “rehab” to actually just chat. Your friendly smile and jokes make taking an ice bath a little easier. Thank you to you and all of the athletic training staff. A special shout out goes to President Ditzler for bringing the community all together to make our experience as student-athletes better. You have done a wonderful job of making the campus a welcoming place. Thank you to President Ditzler and the entire faculty and staff.

Coaches. Speaking on be half of the student-athletes in this room — thank you for the numerous hours you have spent preparing, motivating and supporting our teams. Our coaches play a huge role in how we’ve grown both individually and as a team. We appreciate all that you do.

Brits. Thank you for being a part of why being an athlete is such an awesome experience. Great teammates are essential to make it through the journey of being a student-athlete.

Seniors, thank you for committing yourselves to your teams. I admire all of you for your hard work and dedication. Thank you for putting in the time and effort to make the Albion athletic community better. As we move forward with our lives, we will always remember the hours we spent in purple and gold. What we are leaving behind is more than wins and losses. The opportunity to play a college sport is rare. Remember to appreciate your final week on this campus, stop in the Dow one more time and always remember that once a Brit, always a Brit.

Thank you.

 

Courage and Confidence

The team after practice at Occidental College.

The team after practice at Occidental College on March 9 in Los Angeles, CA.

Last week, during a 6-day spring break trip to California, the team kept extremely busy. From intense practices to TV tapings and competitive games to adventures in fro-yo…there was one recurring theme – CONFIDENCE. How does one build it? How does a team exude it? How does one project it on and off the field? After Thursday’s typical pregame strategy meeting, each player was asked to respond to the following prompt.

You’ve just won the “Arthur Ashe Award for Courage” at the ESPY’s for transcending the world of sports. Muhammad Ali received the award in 1997, Nelson Mandela in 2009, and now, in 2016 — YOU. Write your acceptance speech, and prepare to accept your award today in front of your team and loved ones. Think about what makes you YOU. Take 20 minutes to write and edit a speech for this momentous occasion.

Each player delivered a personal acceptance speech to the team, and it’s never been clearer that each individual perspective is important in its own way. Some were funny, some bittersweet, others teeming with gratitude. Here are three uniquely impactful speeches that members of the team shared that afternoon. Enjoy!


#18 ARIELLA RUIZ, FRESHMAN ATTACK

I am honored to receive this award in front of all of you today. But, what is courage? Courage is the ability to do something that frightens one. Don’t get me wrong, I have experienced the feeling of fear and have felt the desire to give up and walk away from it all: stay home, crawl in my bed and simply avoid the world. What makes me courageous is the audacity to say, “F*** that” and battle everything the world has the nerve to throw at me. Courage isn’t being fearless, it is being able to attack that fear and fake it until you become it.

My entire life, I have felt that all I am to the world is another pretty face. All I am is trendy. All I am is standard. All I am is a silly dumb female. But — it’s okay because I am pretty enough to someday marry a rich man who will take care of me. Growing up, I have been exposed to an incredible amount of jokes about just finding a wealthy man to provide for my future family. It doesn’t make me laugh because I know that is not who I am.

I do not have the fear of not having money. I have the fear that not everyone in the world will be happy. I do not have the fear of not getting enough instagram likes. I have the fear that not everyone will watch my PSA about the child slavery currently happening on the cocoa plantations in Africa. I do not have the fear that I will be alone in life. I have the fear that I will not make a difference and impact in others’ lives.

People always talk about meeting their other half and finding their soul mate. That is not a problem for me because I am aware that I am a whole. I am my other half and I have the power to make change and difference in others’ lives, and that is what makes me courageous. The courage I have is not being fearless. The courage I have is stepping out of my comfort zone and thinking and doing what others are too scared to do.


 #12 ALEX RADZVILLE, FRESHMAN MIDFIELD

Well first off, I would like to thank you all so much for this award; it was truly just an honor to be nominated. There is an infinite amount of definitions today for a successful life. Some say it’s based on how much money you make or how many possessions you own, where as others define it by happiness or how many loved ones you are able to surround yourself with.

Me, I’m somewhere in the middle. I want a job that makes me both happy and can provide me the life I intend on living. Not going to lie, my bucket list is a few notebooks long. I want to travel and see the world, get to know other cultures, and make new friends along the way. Earlier this year I was asked to come and play lacrosse. This absolutely terrified me. I knew that it was going to take a lot of extra time and commitment to even reach a level where I could match up with the other girls on the team. But I said to myself — “Alex, this could be the golden door to a new love in your life”.

It is kind of like traveling, in a sense. You make new friends and learn different styles of play. I knew that this opportunity was not just a coincidence, but fate. Because I did find a new love and I was also able to prove to myself that fear isn’t always a bad thing – maybe it just fuels you to becoming something greater. 


#6 CAIT GAITLEY, SOPHOMORE ATTACK

Thank you, thank you so much. I am humbled and honored to be accepting this prestigious award today. Growing up I had a very loving and accepting family to whom I’d also like to thank. But let me tell you, growing up with two sisters is hard. Growing up with two smart, athletic, funny, beautiful, well-driven sisters is hard. Coming home from school proud that I got a B+ on a test and feeling one-upped after hearing that my sister got into a well known medical school is hard. Asking to borrow a pair of jeans, but then thinking, “She’s so much skinnier than you, Cait. They aren’t going to fit you…” is hard.

Don’t get me wrong. I had an amazing childhood and my family, especially my incredible sisters, were proud of everything I did. But hard is hard, and those parts were hard. There were two things that weren’t hard for me growing up and those were singing and sports. Nothing can compare to the feeling of getting a kill in volleyball, sticking a gymnastics routine, scoring a fast break goal in lacrosse, or hitting that high note you didn’t think could ever be in your range. No, those were never hard, those were easy, those were mine. I stand here today not because I embraced what I believed were my failures and my shortcomings (too stupid, not skinny enough), but because I dared to be confident and to celebrate my accomplishments. I have failed before and will fail every day in some way. But I can say with confidence that today and every day I have also won. Thank you.

‘Freshman year has been a life-changing experience…’

My last blog post of the 2015 season! So much has changed since spring break, but the friendships we all made are still here, stronger than ever. For the banquet each class had to prepare a speech, which I volunteered to give. The night before the banquet, all of the freshmen gathered in the first floor lounge of Wesley Hall and tried to put into words how the year went for us. What was expected to be a twenty-minute conversation quickly turned into an hour because no one could decide what they wanted to say. It was hard to express how we all felt in the two-minute time slot that coach gave us, which by the way didn’t really exist but we still freaked out about it anyway. Here is the speech we came up with:

As a freshman, it’s very hard coming on to a new team when you don’t know what to expect. But this program, and everyone that defines it, have made us feel more than comfortable and welcome — they have made us their family. For Wiegs (#10 Lauren Wiegand), ‘got your back’ is so awesome knowing that no matter what is going on some will always be there for her. For Freddy (#22 Makenzie Frederickson), being a part of this team has made her freshman year a phenomenal experience. Shannon (#14 Shannon Kahl) was nervous going in but now has 16 sisters who always have her back. Tay (#7 Taylor Nelson…who hails from CA) wants to thank the parents who have all unknowingly adopted her. Albion is her home away from home. Cait (#6 Cait Gaitley) has never felt more accepted by a team and is so proud to call you all her family. Sabrina (#26 Sabrina Silvestri) feels the true meaning of ‘got your back’ and quote, “Which is a new experience for me.” And last but certainly not least Molly (#23 Molly Hubbell) says I love this dysfunctional family and quote, “always has your back my dudes.”

We’d like to thank the Seniors for all the support and guidance they have given us. We will miss them! As well as the Sophomores and Juniors for looking out for a us all year. Thank you coaches for helping us grow not just as lacrosse players but also as better, more driven people. Thank you families for supporting us in this new journey where we will surely come out stronger, more determined, and wiser than we have ever been. We’d like to thank everyone for an amazing first year. We are so excited to see where the next three years will take us but are sure with all these amazing people supporting us and having our backs we will continue to be the best we can possibly be.

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ACWL 2015 at our annual team banquet, championship trophy in hand

Freshman year has been such a life-changing experience. After our NCAA tournament game last Sunday, I came home and was greeted by some old friends who have known me my whole life. They told me how they can tell I changed a lot, and to be honest, I feel it too. This year has made me more responsible, more motivated, and more driven then I can ever remember being before. A great deal of this progress is thanks to being a part of this team.

I’ve learned so much this year and not just from taking notes when V (starting goalkeeper Victoria Della Pia) is in the net! When you step out onto the field as a freshman it’s true you don’t know what to expect, but through all the ups and downs, good times and bad, you’re sure to end up on top with your team right beside you. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this team and this program have made me into a better person, and I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring. So thank you all, and have a good summer! GO BRITS!

~ Natalie Krauss, #00

Captains’ Fall Wrap Up!

Over the last two weeks, we have shared our ACWL Team Standards for Success with our Twitter followers (check them out at #ACWLSuccess). These standards were written by captains and coaches, outlining the fundamental beliefs of our team. Although we try to play by every one of these standards, I believe that the 2014 spring season is best represented by two.

“We realize that activity does not always mean achievement, so we are constantly focused on improving.”

Throughout last season, focus on improvement was not limited to games; it was a focus during every practice, meeting and film session. Although, when it did come to games, improvement did not have as much to do with wins or losses as it did with playing our best, most competitive game.

“We respect and commit to the hard work it takes to be great.”

Trying to improve every practice last season proved to be a difficult task. There were days that we took a few steps back, but regardless of how frustrated we might have been, everyone was always committed to working hard. We often held each other accountable, pushing one another everyday, whether it be during speed workouts, passing competitions or defensive drills. All of these things ultimately contributed to our success in the 2014 season.

As we move into 2015, these specific standards cannot be overlooked. If anything, I think they have become more important, and will be more difficult than ever to accomplish. But, as we welcome many new teammates, I have another standard on my mind.

“Confidence starts with faith in yourself.”

I believe that because we are a young team, with only 3 seniors, this standard will play a crucial role in our 2015 success. I look forward to competing in my senior season, and could not ask for better teammates or coaches to do it with.

– Mackenzie Novak #2, Senior Attack

Julie volunteers with Mckenzie and Kit at the SAAC Carnival.

Julie volunteers with Mckenzie and Kit at the 2014 SAAC Carnival.

During the 2014 fall semester we spent a lot of time giving back to the Albion community and connecting with the other students on campus.

Back in October, our team hosted our annual Late Night Lax Pancakes! This has become one of our favorite team fundraisers. Not only do we raise money to support our team, we spend a lot of the evening bonding together. The weeks leading up the event are spent hanging up flyers, selling wristbands and encouraging our peers to come enjoy some unlimited pancakes. The event includes a student DJ, a performance by Albion’s very own Euphonics acapella group, and some additional entertainment put on by the team.

This October, we were able to bring in more students than the previous year! It was exciting to know our pancake night was a hit and brought in some extra funds to the team. Although fundraising is awesome, I think the team would agree that the bonding part of the event is the best the part. From having a private dance party prior to our guests arrival to eating broken pancakes, we could not stop laughing the entire time.

As a team, we find it very important to maintain a well-rounded and balanced reputation on campus. We enjoy attending other athletic competitions, musical events and supporting our friends on campus. Being a part of this team is special for that exact reason. The support we have for each other, as well as others on campus, is very unique. There are so many positive personalities on this team. I am truly looking forward to what everyone will bring to the table during the Spring semester. Happy Holidays!

– Julie Wood #8, Junior Attack

Kadie does her best to dunk Coach Decola of Albion Men's Lacrosse.

Kadie dunks Jake Decola, head coach of Albion College Men’s Lacrosse.

As a new SAAC member this year I was able to get more involved in planning community events…

We took part in Adopt a Family, which provides holiday gifts for families who are not able to afford any gifts this year. With just a couple of dollars from each of the girls on the team, we were able to provide Christmas gifts for a single mother and her three children. It is so rewarding to know that we are changing someone’s life during such a special time of year.

Right before everyone left for the holidays, we also took part in the annual SAAC carnival; this is when kids (420 to be exact) from the Albion community come to our field house and play carnival games, all run by student-athletes. In the weeks leading up to the carnival, we raised money to get coaches put into the dunk tank. Unfortunately, we were unable to dunk our coach due to the minimum height requirement (true story), but we were still able to help provide the children with an amazing experience, and also raise money for future SAAC events.

It feels great to give back to the community and we will continue to give back during our upcoming season.

– Kadie Koolwick #11, Junior Midfield

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from your 2015 captains as well as the entire ACWL team!

Get to know our 2014-15 team captains!

This team has become a family in the last couple of years and I am so happy to be adding more people to it this year. As a team we can have a good laugh while still being focused on the goals we want to accomplish. As a captain, I hope to set a good example for the incoming freshman on and off the field, as well as all the returning players. I want this upcoming season to be successful and help everyone push to be the best they can be. I am excited to see how far we can go this year; each year we have grown so much and we should not expect anything less from this upcoming year.

-Kadie #11

kadie1Kadie Koolwick, a junior midfielder, is a pre-dental, biology major and psychology minor. She finished the 2014 season as the team’s all-time leader in draw controls, averaging 86 draw controls per season. In 2013, Kadie was selected to the All-MIAA second team.

 

 


 

As most of you know, this will be my fourth season of lacrosse at Albion. In the past three seasons we have become more competitive, fought through impossible practices, blown expectations away, and become a family. I could not be more excited to welcome our freshmen into such an amazing experience. Additionally, I am so grateful to have Kadie and Julie as my new co-captains. I know the leadership we will see in them will be outstanding, as they have become amazing role models for everyone on the team, including myself. Most of all, thinking about this season, I look forward to raising expectations, and playing every game more competitively than the last.

– Mack #2

mack1Mackenzie Novak, a senior attacker, is a double major in finance and business & organizations, and a part of the Gerstacker Institute. Mackenzie is also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Alpha Xi Delta. She finished the 2014 season as the team’s all-time assist leader, and a first team All-MIAA selection.

 

 


 

As a rising junior, I am thrilled to be named one of the three captains for the 2015 season. Having met Mackenzie back in high school at a lacrosse camp and having Kadie by my side as incoming freshmen in 2012, I have built strong relationships with both girls. I can already tell our dynamic is going to work really well, and I believe each of us will bring something different to the team. Going from a team of 15 to around 25 will be very exciting. I am really looking forward to meeting our newest teammates and being a leader who is there to help them transition into college, while playing lacrosse. I hope to show them that although it can be challenging, being a student-athlete is definitely worth the experience. I can’t wait to start playing, working out and being with all of my girls again come September. Being recognized as a captain for Albion’s Women’s Lacrosse team is a huge honor; the 2015 season will be quite the journey and a season I will never forget.

– Julie #8

julie1Julie Wood, a junior attacker, is working towards a double major in business & organizations and communications. Julie is also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Gerstacker Institute, and Alpha Chi Omega. In 2014, she was selected to the All-MIAA second team.

Hey readers!

Last weekend, the Brits held a fall lacrosse clinic for high school girls. It was our first big activity as a team for the 2013-2014 season. We were fortunate enough to have great weather on Saturday, so great I even received a nice little sunburn on my face. Although coach supplied sunscreen, I was too busy enjoying myself to notice my face getting fried. We had a great turn out for our first clinic. Each time we hold a clinic I am impressed by the excitement on the field from the campers and my teammates. I worked with a group of juniors and seniors throughout the day, with my teammate Kadie. We both had a great time coaching, as well as getting a few laughs in with the girls. Not only were we helping the campers, we were able to get in some extra reps and review the fundamentals of lacrosse. Towards the end of the clinic we ran mini 5 v 5 games. The girls looked as if they were having a great time playing lacrosse. What more could you ask for besides hard work, and a good time?

The anticipation during the week prior to the clinic was killer. I am always so excited to meet other girls who love to play the game as much as I do.  Make sure to keep an eye out for our next clinic in early 2014! Along with meeting new girls, I had the opportunity to bond with my teammates during the clinic. I can tell this year is going to be another great season, with my family. As we finish out this week of practice tonight, we our preparing ourselves for tomorrow. We head out to Grand Valley State University to play in our “Fall Ball Play Day.” I am excited, a bit nervous, but cannot wait to be on the field again with my team in an actual game scenario. If you are looking for something to do with your Saturday, head out to Allendale to cheer on your favorite Brits! If not, stay tuned to hear about our first play day of the season.

Have a great weekend, talk to you soon!

Jules

Happy Spring Brit Fans!

2013 ACWL

The spring season is already in motion, can you believe it?! After months of practice the lady Brits are finally seeing their hard work pay off. Each game has brought on new challenges and opportunities to work together as a team. Together we’ve learned the importance of what it means to be a team. We have actually become a family on and off the field. I really enjoy the awesome connection our team has made. Having a team that enjoys being with one another makes the connections on the field even stronger. Although being a family is great, we have gradually learned the importance of staying focused and working hard everyday. Some days may take extra effort to give it our all, but we are always sure to motivate each other positively.

That’s what I love about my team. We push ourselves, as well as each other, but we keep it positive when doing so. With the season reaching an end, the team has begun to take to heart how important it is to give it your all. Every day is a new day to better ourselves. Each girl on the team has improved in their own way that has helped the team as a whole. Although the season is reaching an end, I know the lady Brits are ready to prove themselves to everyone and show what they can now accomplish with the time and effort they’ve put into playing a sport they love. Our next home game is Wednesday the 24th against Alma College, so come out on out and support the Brits and see all of our time and hard work in action.

And fans, always remember…
I GOT YOUR BACK!

Julie