In May 2011 Transylvania added men’s and women’s lacrosse to its intercollegiate sports program. Since then, the coaches have been hard at work preparing for the inaugural season.
“It is very exciting to ‘pioneer’ lacrosse at Transylvania,” said men’s head coach Terry Justice. “With the impending construction of our new Transylvania sports complex, we have the opportunity to really spotlight and separate our university.”
Both Justice and Haley Marvine, the women’s head coach, have been hard on the recruiting trail trying to find the best student-athletes around.
“My recruiting process started in September when I was hired at Transy. From there I have been traveling to tournaments and high school games to look for players who can come in and be a part of our growing team,” said Marvine. “I’ve really focused on getting some talented athletes on campus that I am confident will bring a lot to this university.”
Although the recruiting trail is a long one, there have been some memorable moments along the way.
“The fun part is meeting so many people from different geographical regions that have a common bond, … the love of lacrosse,” said Justice.
The recruiting process has given the coaches a unique opportunity to accomplish something every Transy coach aims to do for his or her sport, which is, according to Justice, “successfully getting the Transylvania University name out there in the lacrosse community.”
The teams will face adversity in their first year, but that will not impede them from taking the lacrosse community by storm.
“No matter who we play next year, on paper, our team will always be the underdog. I think that’s what really excites me the most; I have no doubt that we are going to shock a lot of people in the lacrosse community next year,” said Marvine.
Even though the coaches have been traveling and looking at recruits, they also want to see what current students can bring to the team.
First-year Jariana Gillespie, left; junior Caroline Mrowiec, right; and first-year Alex McKenzie,bottom, have been participating in practices for the women’s lacrosse team.
“I am interested in finding out if there are current Transylvania students that played in high school or are athletic and interested in trying out for our lacrosse team,” said Justice. “I would like to work with Transy students during May term, and I have some extra sticks!”
On the women’s side, six current students have committed to play next year, and others have expressed interest.
“The girls I am working with now are going four times a week. They are doing awesome! The girls are all extremely athletic and have tremendous potential,” said Marvine. “The best part is they are willing to put the work in. You don’t find that every day, but these girls are truly special.”
“We are going to field a team of student-athletes that will play hard, be competitive and make our students and university proud,” Justice said.
“I would like everyone at Transy to know that you are going to want to come and watch these games next year. I can promise you one thing — that our team will give you a show. We are going to be fun to watch,” said Marvine. ”Not just that, but this is your chance to witness Transylvania athletics history.”