Grove City College’s women’s lacrosse team will play its inaugural game as a varsity NCAA Division III program this week against Marietta College.
The Wolverines will face off against the Pioneers at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Don Lyle Field on campus, making the matchup the team’s first home game as well.
The College made women’s lacrosse its 23rd varsity sport in 2019, with plans to begin intercollegiate play this spring. Head coach Cassley Jackowski has spent the past year building a program on a foundation of veterans of the College’s club team and a field of freshmen recruits.
“We are very grateful to make history and be the first while setting our mark as a program,” Jackowski said. “My hope is that we set the tone for our program from a competitive standpoint as well as a culture standpoint. We have a unique opportunity to be the first and be a light as soon as we step onto the field.”
The transition from club to varsity has been exciting, Jackowski said, and gave the team time to implement a foundation and grow through it. “The biggest difference is we have the ability to compete at a higher level than we were able to as a club program. The game itself doesn’t change. The concepts and the way we have structured our level of play stays the same entering our first season,” she said.
At Grove City College, team culture is an intentional and important part of collegiate athletics. Jackowski said the Christ-centered program has three core values: to love well, serve well, and compete well. “That lights the fire in us to be the best we can be,” she said.
"We are very excited for the varsity debut for Women’s Lacrosse program,” Grove City College Athletic Director Todd Gibson ’02 said. “It is clear that a special culture is being built that will make our team stand out as we seek to glorify God and win championships."
The Wolverines will compete in the Presidents' Athletic Conference, which sponsored women's lacrosse for the first time in spring 2019, and against other non-conference collegiate programs. They won their first scrimmage on Feb. 15 against Heidelberg University.
Grove City College has 12 women's sports programs and 11 men's sports programs. The last sport added was men’s lacrosse in 2018.
Check out the women’s lacrosse preview video on YouTube.