It may all be for fun playing lacrosse in high school, but when a student-athlete enters the collegiate realm, she begins to ask herself serious questions. Why do I play? What do I play for? Who do I play for?
This Saturday on Wilson field at 7pm, two collegiate women’s lacrosse teams will duke it out for a greater cause. Division III Chapman University Women’s Lacrosse (4-9) will host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (8-10) for their final regular-season game. The Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rivals will compete to promote breast cancer awareness.
For both the Chapman Panthers and Claremont Athenas, why they play, what, and who they play for will be represented by the pink they wear on the field. This game will be in honor of a cause much bigger than themselves, or the sport. Breast cancer is a disease that affects many. According to the National Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
The Chapman Lady Panthers hope to pack the stands with a sea of pink-donning fans from the entire Southern California girls’ and women’s lacrosse community. With this pink ribbon game, both Chapman and Claremont will bring the community together to raise awareness and funds to combat the second leading cause of death among women.
This cause and this game hits close to home for the Chapman team. Barb Messmer, mother of Chapman junior midfielder Abbey Messmer, is a breast cancer survivor. The Panthers will be playing in honor of her and every other woman and family affected by breast cancer in the lacrosse community.
At the game, Barb Messmer will speak shortly and there will be a raffle. All proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
As “big sisters” of the local girls’ lacrosse community, Chapman Women’s Lacrosse hopes to promote causes like these while simultaneously generating enthusiasm for the sport. Head Coach Brian Eisenberg says, “We are the first, and currently the only, NCAA team in Orange County. We are honored to be able to bring high level lacrosse for players and parents to see each Spring and help unite the OC girls’ lacrosse community.”
The game will also be a senior game for Chapman defender Kelly Clarke, defender Catherine LaPlant, attacker Allie Kontny, and goalie Kara Podesta.
Although the Panther team experienced a roller coaster ride of a season, with coaching staff and player changes, a few tough losses, and a 2-6 league record, they are prepared to battle it out against Claremont, also 2-6 in league. On March 1, the Claremont Athenas beat Chapman 6-5. This regular season finale will have important playoff implications for both teams.
The game will take place at 7pm Saturday, 4/19 at Chapman University: One University Dr., Orange, CA 92866