Women’s Lacrosse finishes the year with their best performance since 2017
When a student at Pacific University ten years ago, Brittany Hartmann played soccer and lacrosse. Six years ago, she was coaching lacrosse at Linfield—and bringing that squad to its best season in a decade. But when Pacific University reached out to offer her the head coaching job, Hartmann did not hesitate, even though she knew she had an uphill battle. The squad was small, and recruiting is especially difficult with lacrosse not being as popular on the west coast and recruiting to a program with minimal wins in the conference standings.
But now, after five years, the work is beginning to pay off—and the lacrosse squad truly believes it is flipping the script.
“It feels like our first building year, which is really exciting,” explained Coach Hartmann. “COVID kind of threw a wrench in everyone’s recruiting; it finally feels like the team is heading in the direction that I want them to head in terms of commitment to the team, commitment to the sport itself, and honoring the game in the way that it was meant to be played.”
Coach Hartmann has always made an emphasis on controlling the things she can, like building a solid team culture. The team culture will always remain the same regardless of the roster size and players’ experience: inclusivity, accountability, and following through. A player and team are built on the commitment to the sport and team, and Coach Hartmann believes following through with your actions and goals is what this young and building program needs to keep moving in the right direction.
This season has been the most successful since Coach Hartmann took over, and the players are more locked in than ever before.
“I use a lot of data and science-based back research to work with lacrosse-specific injuries,” explained Coach Hartmann. “We do a lot of head and neck strengthening to prevent concussions. Also, stability work, balance work, and agility that you’d expect for the running sport.”
Coach Hartmann has spent the entire season establishing a program that may not be filled with victories but with good people and diligence. Being a former Division III athlete, she knows that success takes time, but she can foster an environment where athletes develop as people and leave the team with lasting ties and memories. —