On the lawn next to Patton and Maple Halls, sunbathers and ultimate Frisbee players alike have taken over the old Whitten Soccer Complex.
After the men’s and women’s soccer teams moved to E.S. Rose Park last winter, the former soccer field became a hot spot for anything but athletics until recently.
Now a new team, complete with helmets and sticks, has taken hold of the old field, The Belmont club lacrosse team, on the field weekly, looks to build upon the success of other Belmont sports and club teams in its rookie season.
Junior Josh Mirenda began to develop the concept for the team last year with the intent not only to promote lacrosse, but also to encourage students to participate in a competitive atmosphere.
While the team was unable to have a season, interest in the team grew. The team took the extra time as an opportunity to practice for this year and attract new players.
“Being a school that has students from all over the country, lacrosse is a great fit for Belmont,” said Jeff Kistler, the club team’s president. “As a mostly East Coast sport having a good amount of students from the East Coast and all over the country has helped us a lot.”
While the team is geographically diverse, Kistler said that the experience range on the team is equally varied.
“We have a mix of very experienced players and guys who have never played before. Anyone who wants to play can play,” Kistler said.
The team’s inaugural game was against Vanderbilt on Feb. 25. Their season also features matches against Tennessee Wesleyan, Memphis, Western Kentucky and Marshall.
“For our first game ever, it did not go terribly. We lost 15-1 to a very experienced Vanderbilt team,” Kistler said. “It gave us a lot to improve on and was a good start for our program.”
Like any rookie squad, the team is paying its dues and practicing weekly. The team hopes to build a reputation on campus and in the club lacrosse scene by continuing the momentum from this season.
“Our starting line has a lot of experience, but we lack depth,” Kistler said. “Getting more players is going to a priority for next season.”
The team’s growth will also lead to joining the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association next season, which will give the program a boost in legitimacy.
“Joining this will give our program even more credibility and give us more games next spring,” Kistler said.