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Women′s Lacrosse Goes Varsity

Publication Date: 7/11/2013

By Lauren Albright ′16

In the 2013-2014 school year, Rhodes will be adding an NCAA women’s lacrosse program to our list of varsity sports. Rhodes and Oglethorpe will be the last of the 8 Southern Athletic Association schools to add a women’s lacrosse program. Coach Clary, Director of Athletics, says, “This has been considered for 4 or 5 years now, we just had to wait for other institutions to sponsor [women’s lacrosse] so that we would have the ability to organize a schedule.” Brice Queener, a former All-Star Major League Lacrosse goalie who founded the first women’s lacrosse program at Hill Academy in Toronto, Ontario, has been named the head coach.

One reason for implementing the program is to create more geographic diversity among students at Rhodes. When the men’s lacrosse program went varsity, 14 out of 17 recruits resided outside the South and Southwest, and came from places like Upstate New York, Baltimore, and Chicago. While the women’s program expects to see the same outcome, it will also have an influence on the surrounding Memphis community. Morgan Fuller ’16, from Germantown, a suburb of Memphis, plans to play on the team in the fall and explains, “Local players will have a college team that is only a short distance away instead of having to drive to Millsaps or Nashville. I always admired the older college girls, so going varsity will give us an opportunity to impact local girls.” Part of that impact comes from summer lacrosse camps sponsored by Rhodes to help younger girls learn more about the game and develop their skills. Says Fuller, who helped at this year’s camp, “I love giving back to the sport I love. And it makes me smile knowing that I have the ability to teach a younger player something new, whether it be big or small.”

Fuller also offers insight into the significance of this transition for the members of the lacrosse team. “I actually got recruited to play at two different schools, but when it came down to it, I chose my education over lacrosse. Needless to say, I was a little heartbroken—but after speaking to Coach Queener and after my first year at Rhodes, I realized that I can manage lacrosse and my studies. So I am super excited about the transition. I am a competitive player and always strive to improve my skills. With this transition, I believe each one of us will have to push ourselves to new levels as we play against better teams and work to start off the first varsity team with a bang. I think this program can only make Rhodes more appealing.”