Lacrosse is growing in Iowa and it's harder to find better proof of that than from the WDM Middle School Girl's team. This year 22 girls signed up - the largest girls team in the West Des Moines club and the only middle school team in Iowa. Twenty-two girls is a large jump from the 14 last year. This increase in numbers was all the team needed to take off running from the foundation that was set last year.
Practices focused on growing the girls' stick skills, understanding of the game, as well as their team-centered mindset. The goal was not on winning, but on improving themselves and growing as much as possible in the months spent together.
The middle school girls started their season with tough games in Kansas City. They were able to be on the field in a game as a team and see the challenges and opportunities the season was setting for them. That weekend, they scored only a handful of goals. Following games in Illinois changed that. The girls' confidence and excitement was growing and that set them up for having nearly half the team finding the back of the net. The team came home with both wins and losses that weekend, the momentum building even more for the season.
At practices, the girls continued to be challenged on growing their stick skills. They also continued learning more about intentional offense and defense and how they always have a purpose when they're on the field - whether or not they have a ball.
The middle school girls season ended in a fantastic way. The games in Omaha ended in one win and one loss. However, in that final game, the girls' main focus was challenging themselves to reach one more personal goal for the season. Catching more passes, making more connecting throws, assisting a goal, winning a draw. Each goal was slightly different for each girl, and they worked as hard as ever to support each person's goal, in turn succeeding as a team.
As a coach, I don't know if I could've been prouder after that last game. Spirits were the highest they had been the entire season, which is difficult to surpass with a team of middle school girls. We can't wait for the upcoming summer camps and fall ball season that will lead us to next year.