by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth women's lacrosse will play its inaugural game this week when the Pirates take on Johnson & Wales in the Pine Bowl on Thursday, February 28 at 3 p.m.
The game comes at the end of more than a year of practices for some Pirates as head coach Noelle Brouillard built the school's lacrosse program with some students already on campus as well as newcomers who joined at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
"This team is a really special group not just because they are the first, but because each person on our team contributes something different," Brouillard said. "Everyone is a freshmen together; learning and growing into their roles on our team."
The Bucs are one of two new teams in the Northwest Conference, which now boasts enough participating schools (7) to qualify for an automatic NCAA Tournament bid. George Fox is the reigning NWC champion and has won the last three conference titles.
Whitworth will look to counter the Bruins and the rest of their opponents this season by controlling the pace of play. Brouillard expects the Pirates to battle for every draw and ground ball in order to maintain that control.
With the season yet to begin, the Pirate coaching staff believes any player on the roster could emerge as an all-conference player.
"Every member of our team has an important role to play this year," Brouillard said.
Fans get their first glimpse of the Pirates on Thursday when they take on JWU. The Wildcats are 0-1 this season after a 16-5 loss to Willamette, the NWC's other new team, that opened their season. JWU finished 0-13 in 2018.
After taking on the Wildcats, the Pirates open Northwest Conference play by hosting Pacific (Ore.) and Linfield on March 15 and 17.