NDA’s Newest Sport: Girls Lacrosse


Kylie Callaway, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

New to Notre Dame’s athletic program is girls lacrosse, which is considered a club sport since the WIAA has not sanctioned it.  Similar to the Ice Bears hockey program, the girls lacrosse team is made up of players from Preble, Southwest, Seymour, Ashwaubenon and NDA. 

Kilabrew VanDyke and NDA’s Hailey Anderson are the coaches.

According to Athletic Director Matthew Koenig, “The Green Bay United Lacrosse team had operated for a few years. They had a lot of girls who graduated and not enough to field a team. Mr. Vandyke called me and asked if NDA was interested in starting up, and that triggered this whole thing.” 

Of course, many of the NDA individuals had not played lacrosse before and are using every practice to improve their techniques.

“All of us are very motivated to become the best we can be within the next couple of months. Lacrosse is completely different compared to any sport I’ve played,” said senior Anna Gruesen.

Playing with other schools requires the coaching staff and other players to be patient. The coaching staff has been accommodating and supportive of the NDA lacrosse team. The students of all the schools have made many new connections, and they have been able to form one solid program. This is not only an opportunity for girls at Notre Dame to get involved but allows for every female lacrosse player to have the same chance. 

“It definitely does make a little bit of a difference time-wise. There needs to be enough time for people from other schools to travel, but also in the fact that many of us didn’t know each other. So it took a while to get to know one another. Once we did, though, I don’t think there’s much of a difference from playing with people from your own school,” stated Grace Barington.

Koeing has done a lot to provide the NDA community with this opportunity. 

“I will be honest, getting this program off the ground has caused some extra work the last five weeks. I wasn’t expecting to do this right now, but the way I operate, I embrace a challenge,” said the athletic director. 

 “When I sent the email out to the NDA girls to find out who was interested, and 28 girls initially signed up, it truly inspired me to jump in with two feet. Yes, it adds more work for our office. More nights to cover events, more work in the office getting buses, getting officials and setting a schedule. But that is what my assistant and I do. We are providing opportunities for students. When I look at  31 girls who are now participating in a spring sport that might not have done so, if this opportunity wasn’t available, it is worth it in the end,” he continued. 

Anderson, a lacrosse player herself, went one-on-one with questions. Check out her answers in another Tritonian sports article.