I have always appreciated and enjoyed men’s lacrosse. When I moved to the East Coast, my mom signed me up for a boys’ lacrosse camp (we didn’t know any better coming from Seattle – there was only boy’s lax at the Catholic schools, and no girl’s lax to speak of). I then made the switch to girls lacrosse in high school, played through college, and I am now coaching at Manhattan College.
However, I have always wanted to get back to my “lacrosse roots.” I played the occasional pick up game with friends from high school, ran a couple of shifts at Cape Ann for a friend’s team, and that’s about it – until the ULAX box league in NYC provided a new outlet!
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into our first game at Stanley Isaacs Park. I was nervous, but really excited. I borrowed shoulder and arm pads from my friend’s younger brother, and took the throat guard off my back up helmet. I play in gloves and with a men’s stick at practice to shoot on the goalies, so I wasn’t concerned about my stick work.
When I arrived, I signed in and got my jersey with very little hassle. I credit this to my sweatsuit and recent haircut – chopped my hair off and donated it to Locks of Love – rocking a pseudo-Justin Bieber/Abby Wambach hair cut.
I tossed my equipment on and mostly watched for the first period. I wanted to get a sense for the game; both its pace and flow. I certainly had some pre-game butterflies, but I was totally at ease once I stepped out of the box and onto the floor. I don’t remember much of the game… but this tends to happen to me.
At the end of the day I know this much: I set some hard picks, got laid out (it was clean), and scored a goal. Overall, a very entertaining and satisfying Saturday afternoon. I’m excited to see how the rest of the season with Team LaxAllStars plays out, literally and figuratively.
Some other thoughts on box lacrosse:
- I wish that the game was more open to women. Not in a sense of “let’s get some equality up in this joint” but “let’s play an aggressive sport and be adults about it.” There are inherent risks of playing a sport like box lacrosse. I got laid out in my game, but you don’t see me crying about it. I picked myself up, brushed off, and got on with the game. I would love to see more women come and “hang with the boys” so to speak. Maybe this would help break the illusion that women aren’t tough…
- Box goalies are no joke. They aren’t just plugging the net, and I admire them. I would like to try that next.
- I am most certainly making my kids play box lax; build some character and stick handling skills before they hit the field.
Until next weekend…