History Of Women’s Lacrosse In The Madison Area
Native Americans undoubtedly played lacrosse in the Madison area. Whether women played at that time is doubtful. In 2006 Lacrosse Magazine reported on discussions within the Native American community about whether the First Nations girls’ lacrosse team should play. On spiritual grounds, some believe lacrosse is a male only sport.
THE EARLIEST KNOWN YEARS
Women’s lacrosse rulebooks circa 1930 – 1940 list umpires with addresses in Lathrop Hall on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus. One can assume women’s lacrosse was either on the curriculum or was a club sport.
The University of Wisconsin – Madison has an active club team playing in the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL). There is a rumor of other women playing in an intramural style.
THE MODERN HIGH SCHOOL ERA
In spring 2003 Cali White along with Margo Lenihan and Alicia Lemke recruited 10 West HS players and Coach Ginny Kester (who played lacrosse back East). Two of the players were German exchange students. This all started because Cali White’s brother played boys lacrosse. Cali thought it would be fun to play girls lacrosse.
In 2004 the name MadLax was used until it was discovered to be a legal trade name. MadLax sponsored a one-day clinic, which taught by Nina Wollenberg and the UW-Madison Women’s Lacrosse team. Sixty girls attended. Four teams were formed: Lafollette, Middleton, Verona and Westside.
In 2005 all four teams would meet Thursday afternoons during the spring to play. Teams shared players if needed. A girl’s exposition game was played at the Bullrush Tournament on the Verona stadium field. That winter girls could practice on Sundays at Keva Sports Center.
Spring 2006 Sun Prairie formed a team. Madison had a conference championship tournament for the first time. That summer the Brewtown Showdown scheduled their first girl’s game. Late August Jen Adams ran a camp for about 17 girls.
Spring 2007 Arrowhead and Brookfield were added to the league schedule. This led to the first State Championship being played at Reddan Soccer Park. The first girl’s All-Star game was held in conjunction with the boys State Championship. That summer Garner Park was the site of Thursday night pick-up lacrosse. Each Thursday between six and fourteen participants would toss the ball around and play small-sided scrimmages.