Lacrosse reacts to season cancellation, new spring sports ruling

Senior+midfielder+Morgan+Taylor+heaves+the+ball+upfield+during+the+Aztecs%27+19-18+win+over+Arizona+State+on+Feb.+20+at+Aztec+Lacrosse+Field.

David Pradel

Senior midfielder Morgan Taylor heaves the ball upfield during the Aztecs’ 19-18 win over Arizona State on Feb. 20 at Aztec Lacrosse Field.

by Cristian Alvarez and Devin Whatley

San Diego State lacrosse finished its fifth game of the season with a 13-8 victory over George Mason University on March 8.

But little did the Aztecs know it would be the last time they would step on the field this season.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most sporting events have either been postponed or canceled.

Back on March 12, the NCAA made the announcement that all winter and spring seasons and championships would be canceled.

Lacrosse had its season come to a close after just five games.

When Aztecs head coach Kylee White heard the news, she and the coaching staff felt torn not being able to tell their players in person.

“I had to unfortunately tell them through a text message and then we had a meeting the next day over Zoom,” White told The Daily Aztec. “I think that was the hardest part. We’re such a close team and as coaches, we are emotionally involved. For all the right reasons, we wanted to hug our kids.” 

Although White said her team still feels heartbroken about its short-lived season, the Aztecs have just learned to take things one day at a time.

“We have realized that this is far bigger than any sport,” White said. “Our girls are really just trying to stay connected with the people they love the most and that’s their teammates and families.”

During these times of self-isolation, junior attacker Julia Sheehan said the team still keeps in touch every day. 

“We are constantly connecting with one another and on top of that we have a weekly Zoom meeting each Monday to just check in as a team,” Sheehan said.

Despite feeling emotional about the entire situation, junior attacker Lexi Tan said she has tried to move forward.

“It’s super upsetting to end our season so short,” Tan said via direct message. “I think now we just have to move forward and focus on the future since it is so uncertain. As a team, we’re just taking it day by day and trying to focus on the positives instead of the negatives.”

While the cutoff of many athletes’ seasons was taken into effect, a big talking point is the seniors and how most of their collegiate career will end in an unusual way.

“I still think there’s a sense for the seniors at least of we don’t have closure yet,” White said. “They’re being patient of when they’ll get that closure. I think everyone has their own timeline for acceptance.”

Sheehan wishes the senior class could have received a proper send-off.

“Our seniors are some of the most deserving girls and I wish we could have at least made it a little further into the season or had our senior game for them,” Sheehan said.

The emergence of the coronavirus in the U.S. has created a unique situation for the NCAA. 

There has been a lot of discussion whether or not seniors should be given an additional year of eligibility.

“I think definitely it’s the right thing to do, but there’s a lot of different variables to every institution and every division has different limitations,” White said. 

On March 30, the NCAA Division I Council decided to grant a waiver allowing an extra year of eligibility for spring sport athletes.

White mentioned prior to this decision that even if student-athletes get another year of eligibility, it could get tricky because of their post-graduation plans.

“There’s a lot of things that play into that. Just because you are given a year doesn’t mean you can take it,” White said. “We have girls that were planning on graduating and some not planning to do grad school. It’s kind of a lot to put on a family to come back for another year.”

Time continues to heal the wounds of every sports team as the world awaits for the coronavirus pandemic to be over.

Sheehan said she has still found plenty of positives to reflect on.

Days before the NCAA’s decision to cancel spring sports, senior goalkeeper Katy Sharrets broke the all-time program record for career saves with 413 (previous program record was 406).

“I am happy and proud that our senior goalie Katy Sharretts was able to break the program record for career saves in our last game against George Mason University before our season ended,” Sheehan said. 

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