Cal Lutheran Regals Lacrosse Team resumes season after long break

Elisa Zody, Reporter

Two years ago, the Regals lacrosse team played their first ever games in California Lutheran University history. Unfortunately their season was cut short along with others and they were unable to play more than six games. After taking a two year break due to COVID-19, the Regals are back on the field and beginning what will be their first complete season.

The Regals have played two games so far against Whittier College and Chapman University. They lost both, but Head Coach Laura McIntyre (Coach Mac) said that she saw huge progress between game one and game two. 

“I’m seeing more and more game IQ and awareness building every time we get to play,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre played lacrosse throughout her childhood and started coaching immediately after graduating college. She coached for 10 years before coming to Cal Lutheran in 2019. She said that the variety of players that she has coached over the years has given her the upper hand when it comes to working at Cal Lutheran.

“It’s been fun to kind of navigate everything. There’s definitely some of those struggle moments but we’re all learning from each other. So it’s been really rewarding and really good to develop that together,” McIntyre said.

The team was on the way back to Cal Lutheran after playing a game when they heard the news that instruction was moving online for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester. Junior attacker Arielle Esparza said that it was disappointing news since they worked so hard to get where they were at that time. 

“I feel like there was a lot of opportunity for growth and having that time would have helped us this year. But we took it with a grain of salt and were ready to get that experience now that will help us move forward in the next years,” Esparza said.

McIntyre said the hardest part was seeing her team put in so much hard work but not getting the opportunity to prove themselves.

“It was really tough, but it’s exciting to have them back now,” McIntyre said. 

Last year, players who lived on campus had the opportunity to practice together with McIntyre. Sophomore defense and goalie Mia Deck and Esparza were two of the few girls who made it out everyday to practice.

“Despite not having a season we were still out there trying to build a foundation,” Deck said.

For the first time ever, Deck played goalie in Wednesday’s game against Chapman University. McIntyre said she is very proud of how far Deck has improved since she only started to train as a goalie a few weeks ago. 

“I’m excited for the new opportunities I have to improve this season. It’s going really well and it’s super fun,” Deck said in regards to her new position on the field.

McIntyre said that there are positives and negatives to not being as established as their opponents. She said that the other teams have higher expectations, while the Regals are more of a wild card team. 

“We know that we’re going to make mistakes and we know that we’re going to have lots of challenges. But it gives us a good opportunity to come out hard and give people a run for their money because they don’t know where we’re going to be like,” McIntyre said. 

McIntyre’s goal for this season is to see her players continuously improve. She said that she would love to see the girls win some games even though it will be challenging because the lacrosse program is still so new. 

When the team is behind, Deck and Esparza said that they like to stay positive by remembering why they love playing lacrosse. 

“I remember that it’s just 60 minutes out of our whole season. And I keep in the back of my head that this is our first full season playing together, so we still have a lot of time and room for growth,” Deck said.

You can cheer on the Regals at William Rolland Stadium on Saturday, March 12.