LAX set for return to nationals, WCL title

The Oakland women’s lacrosse team is preparing for the upcoming 2011-12 season after a string of successful seasons.  The Golden Grizzlies have won five straight division championships and three straight Western Collegiate Lacrosse League Division II championships.

Towbey Kassa, entering his sixth season as OU head coach, said that everyone in the organization have played a part in making the team successful.

“Working with the athletic department and the recreational department hands on has gained us a lot of success,” Kassa said.

Last season, Oakland reached the Div. II Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse League National Championships as the seventh seed in the nation.

The Grizzlies placed seventh in the tournament after losing to the national champions, Chapman University from California.

Kassa said that the run to nationals was very memorable considering how the team had to play a few games in bad weather and beat quality teams like Southern Methodist and Texas.

“The team really gelled well together,” Kassa said, “We worked hard, we scheduled a very tough schedule.”

The Grizzlies have the fall season coming up which functions very much like a preseason in preparation for the spring season which begins in early 2012. According to Lauren Pattah, sophomore goalie, the fall season helps the team bond together and practice playing routines.

“As a team, we practice multiple times a week right now for the fall season, in preparation for our spring season,” Pattah said. “I personally work out on my own and do my own goalie routines to get my mind back into lacrosse.”

With women’s lacrosse being a club sport, the players must pay their way to play.  However, according to Pattah, being on the team is all about being able to play a college sport and calls being on the team “an amazing experience.”

“I get to be part of such a tight knit group, travel around the world, see new things and meet new people,” Pattah said.

The Grizzlies have set the bar high for their expectations in the 2012 season.

“We’re not going to be settled winning a division championship or conference championship,” Kassa said. “We’re looking to get back to the nationals and gain that championship for the first time in program history.”

Kassa said that this will be another chance for the team to grow the sport on campus and in the community with fast-paced, high-scoring games.

The team will play two games this weekend on Saturday one at 1 p.m. against Michigan and 5 p.m. against Michigan State.