St. Monica Academy, a small, private school in Montrose, is adding a CIF girls lacrosse team for the 2017 season and is looking to fill out a schedule that at the moment lists seven games.
Previously, St. Monica had fielded a softball team in the spring, but Athletics Director Darren Bradley said after a successful season last spring, there suddenly was a lack of interest.
“Most of last year’s team did not return, including our star pitcher (who signed with a D-I college),” Bradley said via email. “It proved impossible to motivate enough girls to field a team. Once the parents knew that softball was cancelled, a couple of them approached me about starting lacrosse.”
Bradley said two St. Monica students play club lacrosse — Riley O’Brien and Molly Hagan — and the school held a meeting to see how many others might be interested.
In a co-ed school with roughly 250 students spread across grades 1-12, 32 high school girls attended the exploratory meeting.
Bradley said Jim Hagan will coach the new St. Monica squad, and the program is getting help from across the lacrosse community to get up and running. Last weekend, for example, Hagan was occupied with a personal matter, but Boz Crowther, coach of nearby Crescenta Valley, stepped in to conduct an inaugural practice for the Crusaders.
“It looks like we will end up with 17-18 [girls] who are serious about playing,” Bradley said.
Now his challenge is scheduling games. He said St. Monica has confirmed two games each with Marlborough, Holy Rosary and Westridge, and one against Crescenta Valley. He has been in contact with programs like Hamilton and Glendale and has contacted coaches and administrators at a few other schools, as well. St. Monica also is on the wait list for the Rose Bowl Jamboree.
Anyone with an open date suitable for a first-year program can contact Bradley via email.