Author: Noel Hemphill
They came from all over the country: Portland, Oregon, Springfield, Virginia, Haverford, Pennsylvania, Berkeley and Menlo Park, California. They have different academic interests, including majors and minors in Diplomacy and World Affairs (DWA), politics, sociology, math, art history and East Asian Studies. But what they share is a love for lacrosse.
The Occidental women’s lacrosse program was still in its infancy when seniors Alida Beck, Kristin Feinberg*, Beebe Finch Sanders, Monica Rosenkranz and Adrienne Ruth joined the roster back in 2011. Their inaugural season was a runaway success, with the team earning its first NCAA Division III playoff berth and dominating SCIAC play. Four years later, this core group of five student-athletes have stuck with lacrosse and are getting ready to play in the SCIAC championship final game.
“When we were first-years, we made it to the NCAAs for the first time in program history,” Finch Sanders said. “Though we haven’t made it the last two years, we have the possibility this year, especially since all of our teammates are putting in the work to make the program the best.”
Arguably, it is the five seniors who have been putting in the most work to make the program strong. They have competed every season, despite injuries, full academic loads, club memberships, work and volunteer activities that kept them busy off the field. Head coach Stephanie Janice Mark believes that their involvement at Oxy and with the team has made them incredible leaders.
“[They are] leaders on and off the field,” Mark said via email. “[They are] setting good examples for the underclassmen to look up to.”
Many of the seniors named bonding with the underclassmen as one of their favorite things about being on the team over the years. They feel that they are not just teammates, but a family. That feeling was especially strong for Rosenkranz during a team trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado this season, where they played a set of on-the-road games.
“My favorite memory from this year was traveling to Colorado with the team, and going 2-0 while we were there,” Rosenkranz said. “We had to pull an all-nighter on the way there because of our flight schedule, but the team really bonded.”
Beck stated that her bond with the team will keep her coming back for more lacrosse year after year, even after this season ends.
“I’m going to really miss it, but I’m excited to see how the team grows,” Beck said. “We’ve all grown so much as people and players and I’m excited to see what they accomplish and have that ‘motherly moment.’”
Ruth, who will be the first goaltender to graduate from the program, had nothing but praise for her fellow seniors and their personal growth.
“I’ve had the opportunity to play with four other amazing seniors for four years and watch them transform and become some of the best players in the SCIAC,” Ruth said.
When their last season comes to an end, the seniors have big plans for after college. Both Beck and Finch Sanders will be moving to Washington, D.C., where Beck will be interning for Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Finch Sanders will be interning for the Near East Refuge Association and continuing work with the DWA department’s John Parke Young Fund. Ruth will be heading across the pond to the University of Glasgow to pursue a master’s degree in International Relations or International Security. Rosenkranz will return to the Bay Area and hopes to work in sports marketing and media. Feinberg will be continuing her internship writing for Discovery Digital Networks.
However, no matter where they are in the world, each of them plan to keep playing lacrosse.
“The University of Glasgow has a club team and it would be awesome to be a part of that!” Ruth said via email.
Feinberg plans on coaching club leagues this summer. Finch Sanders and Beck both agreed they hope to find adult leagues in D.C.
“I see myself coaching and doing adult leagues, definitely. I’m not over lacrosse yet.” Beck said.
Their season continues May 2 at 7 p.m., with the SCIAC Championship game on rival Pomona-Pitzer’s turf. A win there could result in a second trip to NCAA Division III tournament play for the seniors—a neat bookend to their four years at Oxy.
*Kristin Feinberg is a staff member of The Occidental Weekly.
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