Not many people are aware, but HowardUniversity isthe first and only university in the world to have an all BlackWoman’s Lacrosse team. This group of 19 girls who sacrificetheir mornings in the fall to practice at 6a.m. andcompete in the spring are all contributing to a HowardUniversitylegacy.
Jennifer Brown and Monique Richards who petitionedfor Howard to have a lacrosse team eight years ago founded theHoward Woman’s Lacrosse team. Melinda Vaughn, a graduate andformer player of CornellUniversity,now leads the team, originally coached by Laurie Polmilsak.
Vaughn is going into her third season as headCoach for the lady Bison and many believe she has done a tremendousjob thus far. Last year, Vaughn brought in five strongrecruits who helped teach and motivate the existing players. These five former recruits, who refer to themselves as the F-Unit,have helped raise the bar for Howard’s Lacrosse team.
When asked about the future of the team, sophomoreDominique Browner said, “The five incoming freshman bring arefreshing and energetic vibe to our team, the only way we can bedefeated is if we defeat ourselves.”
Browner also talked about how crucial this year’sseason will be to the team’s growth. The Howard Lacrosse teamis the only team on campus not in the Mid-Eastern AthleticConference (MEAC). Team member Iram Abdula said, “Not beingin the MEAC allows us as a team to reach a higher level in oursport where no other team at Howard can reach because we competeagainst the white schools.”
Abdula made it clear that this season is importantfor the currently independent team because it will determine whichconference they will be invited to in the spring 2006 season.
Many of these new F-Unit recruits made a sacrificeto come and play for Howard. These girls have been playingfor an average of seven years each and had offers at well knownDivision 1 schools with good programs, such as Temple, Drexel, ODUamong others. Some think their choice to attend Howard would havebeen a hard because of the team’s amateur status, but in speakingwith the girls, it was quite the contrary.
A freshman high school All- American from DenverColorado, Sashah Ramirez firmly remarked, “I would rather be on ateam that has to earn the respect of others (that of white schools)then to be on a team who already has that respect. It’s thehistory behind Howard’s team and what it stands for that made medecide to come here to play.”
Ramirez is a defender and according to thecoaching staff, she will be one of the key defense players thisseason. Another freshman, Christina Padilla, says, “We arehistory in the making and I wanted to be apart of that. As aBlack school in a predominately white sport, we will be an eyeopener for all who see us.”
The Howard Woman’s Lacrosse team is moving up inthe ranks slowly but surely. With 11 strong recruits, thisteam has a better chance than ever to be successful. Look forthe Lady Bison this spring as they continue their journey inputting Howard on the map.