By Chris Ambrosio
Contributing Sports Writer
Women in sports have been subject to many stereotypes over their brief history in professional athletics. Being seen as ‘butch’ or ‘manly’ is a common thing for female athletes who excel in their respective sports, while their male counterparts are glorified for being muscular and athletic.
The more physical the sport is, the crueler the stereotypes seem to be. The University of Miami Women’s Club Lacrosse Team has seen these labels first hand, and they have broken them, too.
“Lacrosse is much more physical than any other sport. You’re checking, pushing and hitting people,” said Jessica Zucker, a sophomore who’s been playing lacrosse since her third year of high school. “You have to have a certain mentality, where you have to beat the crap out of people, and I feel like that’s where it comes from,” she said in reference to the stereotypes the team face.
Though the team enjoys the psychical demands the sport has to offer, they are also average college girls who gossip, party and compare tips about which shoes cover up tan lines best.
Junior Molly Piccione, an active member of the team and president of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, said that the team bonded during the drive to a recent tournament in Gainseville by painting their finger and toe nails together.
Stories like Piccione’s are common on the team. Their 24 members represent each of the sororities on campus, and some have run for leadership positions in Student Government and on the homecoming committee. They also have an assortment of majors, ranging from pre-med, to physical therapy and even public relations. Despite their differences, the girls share the same level of passion about lacrosse.
“We’re more social than most teams,” said junior Stephanie Dietz, team captain. “We like to go out and party a lot.”
Although often viewed through the lens of a stereotype, the girls aren’t fazed. They play for the love of the sport, and jump right back into the college lifestyle when they’re off the field. They tighten their cleats for practice and games every week, and slip on their heels for nights out just as often.
Even with their painted nails, the Women’s Club Lacrosse Team finished 11-3 overall in the ‘08-’09 season, reaching a ranking of 19th in the nation.
Chris Ambrosio may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.