University will field menís and womenís lacrosse teams in
the Big East Conference.
Lacrosse, one of
the nationís fastest growing sports, has found a home throughout the
Midwest, including Milwaukee. Itís been played predominantly on the
East Coast, but itís gaining ground here through youth and high
school programs. A major catalyst for raising lacrosseís profile in
Milwaukee was Marquette Universityís recent decision to field
varsity menís and womenís teams. Both teams will play a varsity
schedule in 2013 and be full-fledged Big East Conference members the
known as the fastest game on two feet," Marquette womenís coach
Meredith Black says. "It features a lot of athleticism and skill.
Itís a fun game to watch."
referred to as ice hockey on grass, the object of this contact sport
is to score goals by advancing the ball into the otherís teams goal,
using the lacrosse stick to catch, carry and pass the ball. On
defense, players are allowed to stick check and use body contact to
prevent this from happening.
"I think itís
a game that translates directly to other sports," Marquette
University menís coach Joe Amplo says. "Thereís the
transition and tactical strategies of basketball, the contact of
football and the open space of soccer. Fans see these similarities, so
itís an easy sport for fans to pick up and get excited about."
Right now, the
rosters for both Marquette teams consist primarily of players from
parts of the country where lacrosse has more history and tradition. As
the sport becomes more popular in the Milwaukee area, look for more
home-grown players to wear Golden Eagles uniforms.
athletes in this area are tremendous," Amplo says. "It will
just take a little bit of time before the lacrosse ability catches up
to the athleticism. Once it does, the sky is the limit."
To that end,
Amplo and Black are aggressively reaching out to high school programs
and youth coaches in the area. They see their programs as ambassadors
of the game and will do everything they can to be a resource for
lacrosse players and coaches. They will also offer lacrosse camps each
been sending hand-written letters and e-mails to all the athletics
directors trying to raise awareness," Black says. "We want
them to know weíre starting a program right around the corner from
Black also is
planning on starting a club team for local players. "It will be a
chance for kids who fall in love with the sport to take it to the next
Marquette University menís lacrosse team will host a free
youth lacrosse clinic from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 27 at Valley
Fields, 1818 W. Canal St., Milwaukee. All youth players are
invited to participate. If you donít have equipment, it will
be provided. You can register at: http://www.gomarquette.com/sports/m-lacros/spec-rel/021712aaa.html
Marquette, Brookfield, University School, Arrowhead, Kettle
Moraine, Milwaukee Lakeshore, Waukesha and Wauwatosa are some of
the area high schools that field lacrosse squads. Some of these
teams are co-ops, where nearby schools combine to form one team.
Milwaukee Area Youth Lacrosse Association is a one-stop shop for
lacrosse participation and questions. MAYLA is a nonprofit
focused on promoting lacrosse in the Milwaukee area. MAYLA is
committed to advancing lacrosse by being a resource and
encouraging foundation for established and new programs alike.
MAYLA offers instruction and games for players of all ages and
ability levels. For more information, go to www.milwaukeeyouthlacrosse.com
listed below are affiliated with MAYLA. Developmental teams
start as young as first grade for some clubs, with the majority
offering teams from third grade through high school.
Moraine Youth Lacrosse Clubkmlacrosse.com
Country Youth Lacrosse Clubeteamz.com/LCYLC/teams
Youth Lacrosse Clubnorthshoreyouthlacrosse.org
Youth Lacrosse Clubozaukeelacrosse.com
Youth Lacrosse Clubwaukeshalacrosseclub.com