Adrenaline pumps through the teams’ veins as they take the field. The heat. Which can be seen hovering over the black turf, causes the players to have beads of sweat trickling down their foreheads. Every single player is prepared from offense to defense. The tremendous amount of work put into the season was now behind them and this game was all that mattered. It determine their future. Would they go to state or not? Would they win the district championship or not? With all thoughts pushed aside and sole focus on the game, the team is ready to set their future when the whistle blows.
The first draw goes soaring through the air. The Katy Cavalier’s win it, as a teammate takes it running up the field. Freshman Hailey Green has her stick up ready to receive the pass. She turns quickly looking for someone to pass to. Sophomore Lauren Buehler sprints to get open. Her adrenaline overcrowds any previous exhaustion she had before. Buehler gets the ball and is one on one with the goalie. The world seems to slow down as she takes the shot, scoring the first goal of the game. Her teammates congratulate her and in that moment, they weren’t afraid. The Katy Cavaliers knew that their effort would push them to succeed.
Competing in the Texas Girls High School Lacrosse League, with a Varsity program of Division II, the Lady Cavs is open to girls from grades 9 through 12. The current season is under the leadership of Head Coach Tim Brown, and Assistant Coaches Ellen Kowal and Katie Archambault. Green, Buehler and sophomore Jodi Morawiec are active members of the team and students at Tompkins.
“I’ve been playing lacrosse since as long as I can remember. I was born up in Baltimore so it’s the sport to play,” said Green. “In elementary, everyone has their own little lacrosse stick and when I moved down here, I found out there was a team, so I joined.”
The lacrosse season usually begins late February, with plenty of tournaments, and runs through the end of April or early May, but practices start around mid-September. The Katy Lady Cavs are wrapping up their season, but are currently in the lead for the City Championship and the State Tournament. In previous years, the team came out victorious from the Aggieland tournament and were undefeated for the South District Division 2 district play. On April 24, the girls won their second D2 South Region Championship with a leading score of 9-8, in the last 18 seconds left. The team will be competing at the State Championship on May 7 and 8.
“Our main goal this season is to win the State Tournament which would mean we are the top Division 2 team in the state. We are taking it one game at a time so our first goal was to win the District Championship, which we won meaning we advance to the Championship and the State Tournament,” said Kowal. “All in all, we just want to play our game and give every opponent our best. We would have loved to have won by more but the important part is that we did win.”
As an activity outside the traditional high school setting, the team is quite small, encompassing only 16 young girls. However, this does not prevent them from creating the same strong bond that exist among high school team sports. In fact, many girls have been playing together for years.
“The head coach has been with the program for six years, I’ve been here for five and our other assistant for four years, so we know each other well. Only five girls are new to our team this year so this team has been playing together for a while, some even since junior high,” said Kowal. “Our players are from many schools in the area so we have to do extra things- like team lunches and team bonding activities to help grow team chemistry.”
The demands of lacrosse reach the same levels as those of any regular high school sports team. Between practices, games and homework, the activity can quickly become overwhelming. However, the girls of the Katy Lady Cavs are determined young ladies with a strong passion and love for their game.
“My whole schedule revolves around lacrosse. Practice is three times a week, and we go to games all over the place. We have team bondings, so I kinda have to make lacrosse part of school,” said Green.
The Katy Cavaliers offer a summer camp at CRHS and it’s perfect for beginners and those who want to try the sport. There are also camps and a summer league in the Houston area. They start back up in late September and always are looking for interested players. If you have a background in running, basketball, soccer or other sports, you should check out lacrosse.
For more information, check out their website at http://www.katyladycavalierhighschoollacrosse.com/