In 2012, University of Colorado Boulder welcomed the Lady Buffs women`s lacrosse team as its newest Division I varsity sport.
In 2012, University of Colorado Boulder welcomed the Lady Buffs women`s lacrosse team as its newest Division I varsity sport. Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in Colorado and this exciting new opportunity provides a chance for girls all over the country and right here in Colorado to play their favorite sport.
Inspired by Title IX, celebrating its 40th year a Federal law stating that men and women must have an equal opportunity to play sports and the colleges must fund and recruit both genders equally, schools in the Pac 12 have decided to include women`s lacrosse in their athletics program. Six colleges have agreed to initially join together through women`s lacrosse, Cal Berkeley, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Oregon, and CU. They will begin play in the 2013-2014 school year as a new varsity conference sport and will bring big-time lacrosse to the West for the first time.
To begin building the Lady Buffs lacrosse program, CU has hired coach Ann Michelle Elliot, former assistant coach at the women`s lacrosse powerhouse Northwestern University, working under phenomenal head coach, Kelly Amonte Hiller. Coach Elliott hired former Northwestern stars, Hannah Nielsen and Colleen Magarity as assistant coaches, who were also players under Hiller at Northwestern. Coach Elliott expects to use her Northwestern experience as a model,noting that "I think hard work is probably the biggest (element). I think both as a player and coach the work ethic was always stressed, and if you're willing to work hard, and focused on getting better every day, even as a coach so you can push your players."
The new program plans to capitalize on its Colorado location, both in recruiting in-state players and using the attractiveness of Boulder and the university to recruit players from all over the country. "The university has everything…the academics, the athletics, the support of the athletic director and department, and Boulder is such a great community that we really felt that this is a place that we could attract the kind of kids that we want to build our program." Coach Elliot and her staff have already begun the recruiting process by traveling all over the country meeting players and coaches, and by holding a summer camp in July at the university.
The team will play its first official varsity game in the Spring of 2014, and Coach Elliot expects to be successful right away. "Overall, we don't have a strict timeline for how quickly we want to be successful. As I said, I went to Northwestern and saw what Kelly was able to do there, and she is a huge mentor and inspiration for me. And to challenge myself to do something like what she did there is obviously our goal here at Colorado."
Hopefully the Lady Buffs will hit the ground running in 2014 and create more opportunities for female athletes to play at the highest level, and also to inspire more growth in girls' lacrosse in Colorado. Go Buffs!