CINCINNATI — Xavier University’s new women’s lacrosse team took to the field for the first time and hosted the University of Cincinnati Bearcats for an exhibition game Saturday morning.
It’s the Musketeers inaugural season and the first exhibition game they’ve played as a team. After the game both teams also held a joint kids clinic.
“This is the day we’ve been planning for awhile, and I just can’t believe it’s happening,” said Sophia Grigson, a sophomore from Rhode Island.
The new lacrosse program is Xavier’s 19th NCAA Division I sports teams, and head coach Meg Decker is excited to bring the sport to the university.
“Having a really strong women’s sport that is new is exciting,” Decker said. “It opens doors that may not have been open before.”
Decker said lacrosse is a mix of basketball and soccer.
“It’s that same thrill as basketball. There’s a lot of goals, there are pick and rolls and two-man games and dodging to the net so a lot of action,” Decker said. “In between the middle of the field it looks like soccer.”
The team has local ties with freshman Corinne Baker, a Sycamore High School alum gracing the roster.
Mak Au, a freshman from Colorado, toured and fell in love with Xavier before she even knew about its lacrosse program.
“This opportunity for me came out of nowhere, and so I’m just beyond thankful to be here and beyond thankful to get to have these people in my life and just be a part of this community and school in general,” Au said.
The team is made up of 27 women — 20 of whom are freshman, seven upperclassmen and three graduate students.
“Definitely got to say I was nervous coming into a team with so many freshman,” Au said. “I didn’t know how it was all going to play out, but I have fallen in love with every single girl. I’ve never been a part of a team where I (feel) truly valued and appreciated and truly loved every member of my team.”
That team — which is part of the Big East Conference — collected its first win beating Butler in a scrimmage last week. Other Big East schools include Marquette, UConn, Seton Hall, Villanova and more.
Decker is no stranger to the conference.
“This is a historically really powerful conference,” Decker said. “I actually played in the Big East when I was in college.”
The team’s season officially starts in the spring, but they have more scheduled preseason games ahead. To follow along with the Musketeers schedule, click here.