This weekend wraps up the regular season for the UC lacrosse team as the Bearcats face BIG EAST foe Notre Dame to close out the home schedule. After that, it's the conference championships in Washington, D.C.
As the program wraps up its fourth season, it's the end of one era of lacrosse, and the beginning of another, as the team prepares to move to its new home at the Jefferson Avenue complex. And while the successes of the lacrosse team might not be measured in wins and losses, there are signs that the sport is growing here locally.
The last home game against Rutgers was youth lacrosse team day, and throughout Nippert Stadium were scattered a number of local lacrosse players, dressed in their uniforms. Let's face it, we probably wouldn't have seen that many teams four years ago, before the Bearcats started playing. Every coach knows that your recruiting starts in your back yard, and to have youth players take up the game bodes well for the UC program.
Speaking of players in your own back yard, one senior certainly has shown her commitment to the UC lacrosse team. Natalie Starvaggi from Mount Notre Dame in Cincinnati, wasn't going to let anything like a knee injury keep her from finishing her last year of eligibility. Through rehab and determination, Natalie is back on the field when most athletes would have had the surgery and settled for the sidelines for six to nine months of rehab.
But when you're a senior, you don't have the luxury of six to nine months. So Natalie is back on the field, braced knee and all, for her Senior Day this Sunday at home. It's an example of the type of student-athlete UC brings in, but it's also an example of the passion these players have for the game.
It's a good sign of how this program has the opportunity to succeed and grow in the coming months. Congratulations to Natalie and all the seniors who have helped set the foundation for great things to come.