Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University women's club lacrosse team made history on Saturday by hosting the program's first home matches against both Randolph College and James Madison University Club as part of an exhibition tri-match held at The Fields.
Southern Virginia opened the day with an exhibition match against Randolph—the Wildcats are an NCAA Division III varsity team that competes in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Randolph jumped out to an early lead over the Knights scoring three goals in the first two minutes of action on route to a 0-15 victory.
During the Knights' second match of the afternoon against James Madison Club, sophomore midfielder Caroline Schroeder (Gainsville, Va.) scored the team's first goal of the year on a penalty shot late in the contest as Southern Virginia suffered a 1-21 defeat.
"Today was a huge stepping stone on the path leading towards intercollegiate competition," said first-year Head Coach Chelsea Whetstone following Saturday's matches. "We have a long way to go, but I was so proud of the way our players competed and stayed positive throughout the day."
Women's club lacrosse was added to Southern Virginia Athletics last spring and continues to grow towards intercollegiate competition.
"Our goal to build this club into a full-scale intercollegiate team coincides with our university's move towards NCAA Division III membership and acceptance into a conference," explained Southern Virginia Senior Women's Administrator Deidra Dryden.
"In just one year, we have seen women's lacrosse explode from a handful of girls to a fifteen-player roster under coaches Whetstone and Sorenson, " Dryden said. "I have no doubt we will continue to improve until we are competitive on the D-III level. One thing we know how to do at Southern Virginia is blaze trails."
Coach Whetstone also expressed confidence that the program will continue to grow and improve.
"Today marked the first match for many of our players," said Whetstone. "I saw improvement throughout the day and know that we are building something here with a bright future."
The next match for women's lacrosse is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25 at Hollins University.