The Michigan women’s lacrosse team’s boom box helps
the Wolverines show their ability to incorporate a little bit of
fun into their intense games.

“Before each game, we blast our music from the
team’s boom box while the other teams look at us like
we’re crazy,” Michigan junior Alyson Gilbride said.

But this team is not just about fun. The Wolverines’
warmup gets their adrenaline flowing and also gives their audience
a taste of what its weekly practices are like. The team does a
five-minute warm-up, stretches, forms line drills and does a
special drill called “fast feet.”

Gilbride describes “fast feet” as a technique where
players put their sticks in front of them and jump over them from
side to side and then from front to back. As if this extensive
workout is not enough, the coach has the Wolverines spin from left
to right as a response to her whistle commands. But the warmup is
nothing, compared to practice.

Three times a week, the Wolverines work on strategies for an
hour and a half. Practices consist of sprints and running drills.
Gilbride says that the 7 a.m. practices, which take place on Monday
mornings, are “solely for speed and agility.”

The long hours that the team puts into its practices seem to be
worth it, looking at its success.

Maintaining the excellence, however, is no easy task. As one of
the four varsity-club sports, the women’s lacrosse team has a
reputation of excellence to uphold. When Michigan lost to Florida
on Valentine’s Day, it was a learning experience.

“We came back from being down by five to only losing by
one,” said junior Kate Finkenstaedt, who has been on the
lacrosse team since her freshman year. “That was a real
rebuilding experience. We showed that our team had

Despite the team’s loss, it decided to convert its
negative energy to positive, proving the players’ commitment
to the game and to one another.

In addition to winning its last five games, Michigan sits at No.
4 in the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s Association. Michigan has
proven itself to be a force to be reckoned with.

“I like the thrill of competition,” Michigan coach
Mary Ann Meltzer said. “I like to see the things we work on
in practice implemented in the games. It is great to see (a
strategy) work.”

Next for Michigan, on March 28, the Wolverines will travel to
Annapolis, Md., for the Navy tournament, where they will compete
against No. 8 Virginia Tech, George Washington, James Madison and
No. 1 Navy.

Michigan blew out Oakland 21-0 last Saturday.

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