In the transition from a club sport to a varsity sport, the university hired Matthew Grosso as the new head coach for women’s lacrosse. Grosso has embraced the challenges of building a new intercollegiate program and is looking forward to their inaugural season in spring 2014.
Grosso began his career at the high school level coaching men’s lacrosse. In order to grasp the game at the collegiate women’s level, Grosso had to literally get rid of parts of his career from the men’s game.
“I threw away my men’s lacrosse stick and got a women’s because, if I was going to teach this game to college players, I would have to show them how to throw and catch with their own equipment,” Grosso said.
Grosso came to Georgetown partially because his wife is from Texas, but also because he wanted the opportunity to oversee the program’s transition from a club to varsity sport.
“It’s a big deal,” Grosso said. “We’re only the second school in Texas to have a women’s varsity lacrosse team, so it’s a great chance to grow the sport.”
In addition to the players on the club team who will return next year to the varsity team, Grosso hopes to recruit between 15-20 first-years next fall. Some current players, like first-year mid-fielder Allison Schmitt, came to Southwestern because they knew the program would upgrade to the varsity level next year.
“Varsity has more competition and requires more of your time than a club team, but I really enjoy the stronger team aspect,” Schmitt said. “There’s much more camaraderie.”
For now, Grosso coaches alongside current club coach Terry Conrad, who also coaches at Georgetown High School. Next year, Grosso will assume full control of the varsity squad. Some players have already noticed his impact on the practice field.
“He knows what he’s doing,”sophomore defender Alex Gartman said. “He’s great at explaining the game and has a lot of passion for the sport and how it will be developed at Southwestern.”
Although the switch from a club sport to a varsity sport will be challenging, Grosso hopes the university sees the changes as a positive addition to athletics.
“There are a lot of young, hardworking players here on campus that are excited we’re going varsity,” Grosso said. “I want them to see the benefits of the transition and not the negatives. I’m really excited for it.”
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