Sept. 6, 2006
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy women's lacrosse team began preparations for its fall campaign on Tuesday as practice for 37 girls formally began. The Mids will play several games this fall, including a contest against the Japanese National Team, as well as an appearance in Laxtoberfest at Anne Arundel Community College. The Navy women's lacrosse program is in its first year of existence and will play a spring schedule comprised of a mix of varsity and club teams, before playing a full varsity schedule in 2008.
"I am just honored and blessed to be here," said head coach Cindy Timchal, who is the sport's winningest coach. "This is a historic moment and we will all be a part of history. Everyone in the country is excited to see how Navy women's lacrosse will do."
Three seniors, Elise Chapdelaine, Katie Neff and Kathleen Pauls, have been waiting for this moment for years. The three will represent the senior class on this year's squad and have led the team in informal practices, leading up to Tuesday's first day.
"It's mind-blowing that all of this is happening, and that it happened so fast," said Neff. "We heard last spring that a meeting to discuss making it a varsity sport may happen, and when we came back in the fall, it had happened. We were just so lucky that it started now and that we have a chance to compete on a varsity level."
After being one of the most successful club teams in the country, the Mids are anxious to see how they stack up against varsity programs.
"We have a lot of talent on this team and a chance to grow," said Chapdelaine. "It used to be our biggest goal was to win the club national title, but now the goals have changed. We have a lot of girls that came to Navy because of the club program, so we know we can be successful."
"This is a very dedicated group and we will work as hard as anyone to make this program a successful one," said Pauls. "We know we have to work on our game, but we are excited to compete and see what we can do. We have been waiting for this opportunity for four years."
Timchal knows that she will have her hands full early, but fully expects the team to be competitive.
"It's just very exciting to be around. Everyone is excited to start and get their feet wet," said Timchal. "Right now, I'm just feeling out the differences and putting the focus more on getting players and getting more support. We know that this team hasn't seen the talent that varsity teams have, but they have never gotten the opportunity to play a varsity team. Now, they are getting that chance and it's exciting for me to see their excitement. It should be a great year."
A full schedule will be played in the spring and will be released at a later date.
# GO NAVY #