Photos C/O Vicky Schindel
By Eamonn Valelly, Contributor
The McMaster women’s lacrosse team is a strong unit. After speaking to them for just ten minutes, their team chemistry was obvious. The way they carry themselves as a squad and the support they have for one another individually is reflective of how they perform on the field.
Outside of practice, the team organizes team-bonding activities. For example, this weekend they have scheduled a potluck dinner to discuss their home game on Sunday. The team’s plan is to set goals and get into the game mentality. Keep an eye out on Sunday because you might catch them jamming out for karaoke night at The Snooty Fox.
The team is very open with each other about what they need to work on and there is no noticeable ego amongst team members. Leadership is fluid, as everyone has the same goal – winning the championship this year.
Depending on the day, any player may step up and take the reins.
“We all really trust each other’s judgment,” said Zoe Collis, a civil engineering student from Orangeville, Ontario. “We all have different strengths in different areas.”
“We really just want to help each other grow,” Kaitlyn Moffat, a second year political science student chimed in.
The relationship the team members have with one other carries into the team’s relationship with their coach, Brendan Sweeney. Sweeney is also the head coach of the Hamilton Bengals U19 lacrosse team and multiple athletes from the U19 team have chosen to go to McMaster, in part to continue working with coach Sweeney.
Sweeney’s role on the team is much greater than just head coach. Always taking the time to check in on his athletes, Sweeney is equally a wealth of knowledge in lacrosse as he is a support system.
“He really does get to know us as people, it’s more than just player-coach,” Samantha Porter, a second-year kinesiology student from Whitby, Ontario mentions. “Even on the bus he’ll come and sit down with you and ask you how you are. It’s more than just lacrosse, we can go to him about school or life. He’s super passionate about it too, he’s seen Mac at their worst and we’re really starting to build up now. He’s just invested so much time into it.”
Sweeney was a professor in labour studies at McMaster. He was an undergraduate student at McMaster between 1999 and 2003, where he captained the men’s lacrosse team. He progressed to become one of the assistant coaches on the men’s team after his playing career.
Sweeney recently left his role as director of the McMaster Automotive Research Centre to become the director of management at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing at Western University. The bond Sweeney has with Mac is evidently strong enough to keep him here coaching the women’s lacrosse team.
“The women’s [lacrosse] team is barreling towards the championship,” said Fraser Caldwell, the sport information officer for McMaster.
The team agrees with Caldwell. They described themselves as tenacious and swangin’ towards a championship. Make sure to catch the women’s lacrosse team at the Ontario University championship from Oct. 18-20.