Don’t Cross Lacrosse


Kawika Mau, Writer

A whiz of white rubber. The flash of a pair of legs. Yelling. Smack! This is the scene of the greater Olympia area lacrosse team. An assortment of female students from high schools in the area gets together to play lacrosse. These girls aren’t here to mess around. As the saying goes, “If you can’t play nice, play lacrosse.” The game of lacrosse is not only fast on the field, but it’s also growing fast in its popularity, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, lacrosse continues to be the fastest growing sport in the nation, with just under 300,000 high school players nationally. Some suspect the explosion in lacrosse popularity is due to its openness to everyone. Folks from each side of the gender spectrum and kids are welcomed and encouraged to play, unlike some more male dominated sports such as football or wrestling. The Olympia Lacrosse Club was founded in the fall of 2014, and it’s been working tirelessly to bring lacrosse to the Thurston County area ever since. The Club started with a middle school aged boy’s team, but has since expanded to the high school level and now offers a girl’s team as well for multiple age groups. The girl’s team practices two days per week and is lead by head coach Keith Edgerton. Rosie Augsburger is a Junior at Olympia High School, and she, along with a few other students at Olympia High like Michaella Long, have joined lacrosse for their first season. Augsburger says, “It’s called Olympia Lacrosse but it’s really the greater Olympia area, so students from Capital and Tumwater play with us as well.” Obviously this sport isn’t popular just because of its accessibility to all; lacrosse players enjoy camaraderie with their teammates and the thrill of getting physical. Chuckling, Augsburger adds, “Lacrosse is a contact sport, to an extent. While we don’t have a ton of padding you still get to sort of hit people and that’s one of my favorite parts.”

The game however, doesn’t come without some inherent risk. With any contact sport, concussions happen. A study published by the Springer Journal, titled Epidemiology of Sports-related Concussion in Seven US High School and Collegiate Sports reported women’s lacrosse as being number two for concussion rates. Opposed to most sports where concussions are a result from player on player contact, this study found that many of the concussions were a result of contact from a player’s stick or the hard rubber lacrosse ball. Augsburger added that, “You get bruises from hitting your knees and on many parts of your body just from contact, but there are a lot of rules to help keep things safe.”

Despite these risks, the girl’s team is still extremely popular with around twenty five team members. Many of the players are multi sport athletes who were conditioned from soccer going in, allowing the team to focus more so on strategy and the game itself over hard conditioning.

The team’s season is in full swing, and the girls are still playing hard from Marymoor Park to the local Oly RAC. The last game is scheduled for May 4th in Puyallup. Let’s rally the troops and throw some support to the athletes of the Olympia Lacrosse Club