WASHINGTON, DC – The lacrosse era at the University of the District of Columbia officially began this week as the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams took the field for their first official practices on the UDC Athletic Field on Wednesday, October 2nd, and Thursday, October 3rd, 2013.
“We’re absolutely ecstatic to have the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams take the field in preparation for their inaugural seasons in the Spring of 2014,” Director of Athletics Patricia Thomas said. “Coach [Melynda] Brown and Coach [Scott] Urick have each done a tremendous job assembling their teams. Under their leadership, I have no doubt that 2013-14 will provide a solid foundation for the UDC Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse programs to build on for years to come.”
Since the beginning of the academic year, both the men’s and women’s programs have been conditioning, weightlifting, and practicing lacrosse skills in small groups to prepare for the teams’ first official practices.
Men’s lacrosse head coach, Scott Urick took over as the university’s first ever head coach in November, 2012 and has worked tirelessly to assembled a team of 17 student-athletes and 7 walk-ons. Urick’s inaugural men’s lacrosse squad will feature local products: Charlie Allen (Architecture – Fairfax, VA/Oakton), Connor Lloyd (Architecture – Clifton, VA/James W. Robinson HS), Russell Lloyd (Political Science – Clifton, VA/Robinson Secondary), Louis Machado (Mass Media – Ft. Washington, MD/Oxon Hill HS) and Brian Simpkins (Computer Science – Oxon Hill, MD/Friendly HS). The roster also consists of players from NY, Massachusetts, Idaho, and British Columbia.
“I couldn’t be happier that this day has finally arrived. Our student-athletes have worked extremely hard over the first month of school to get ready for our first official practice, and I am proud of them for their effort and determination. This is an historic day for UDC and for the lacrosse programs. We look forward to continuing to work hard in the classroom and on the lacrosse field to represent UDC to the fullest.”
The men’s team’s inaugural practice was held from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on Thursday, during which they started with the fundamentals of passing, catching, shooting, and individual and two-man offense and defense.
Head women’s coach, Melynda Brown, is ready to begin the next chapter of what she hopes will be a strong future for the program. “It feels great to finally be on the field with the student-athletes I recruited,” Brown said. “These young women represent the very first class for the program and the first female lacrosse student-athletes in the history of the University. They are the ones who will build the tradition of UDC women’s lacrosse. We are all very excited to continue to work hard and represent the University well!”
The Firebirds women’s team practiced from 7:00-9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, during which they ran drills focused primarily on the fundamentals of stickwork, footwork, and defense.
The current women’s roster includes local products Diana Ofunwa (Mathematics – Washington, DC/Theodore Roosevelt) and Aaliyah Carter (Business Administration – Woodbridge, VA/Gar-Field Senior HS). Brown’s squad also features three UDC women’s basketball players turned two-sport student-athletes: Snezana Blagojevic (Business Management – Kragujevac, Serbia/Towson Catholic HS), Lianne Miller (Health Education – Fareham, England/Swanmore College of Technology) and Tiara Goode (Criminal Justice – Brentwood, NY/Brentwood HS).
“It is a very special opportunity for these young women to be able to build a program from the foundation up,” Brown said. “The student-athletes have accepted the challenge, and they have a tremendous opportunity before them this spring.”
The men’s lacrosse team begins their inaugural season on Saturday, February 22 at Marymount, while the women’s team will launch their inaugural campaign on Sunday, March 2 at St. Thomas Aquinas. Both teams will compete in the East Coast Conference.