Brenau Signs First Two Players To New Lacrosse Team
Brenau University signed its first two players to the new Golden Tigers lacrosse team on National Signing Day, Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Allie McConnell from Cumming, Georgia, and Bonnie Lauman from Waxhaw, North Carolina, signed to the Brenau team led by Head Coach Emily Wetmore.
Lauman, a senior at Marvin Ridge High School, plays midfield for her high school and for the club team Queen City Stars.
“I am thrilled to have someone of Bonnie’s caliber leading our midfield next year,” Wetmore said. “Bonnie knows the game very well and has great field sense. She will be a tremendous threat both offensively and defensively next year, and I can’t wait to watch her grow into an even better player. Bonnie is a natural born leader who will impact this program’s first team in tremendous ways throughout her next four years.”
McConnell is currently a sophomore at Brenau majoring in pre-occupational therapy health sciences. She played attack and defense for Forsyth Central High School in Cumming, for a Hotlanta Lacrosse club team and for the Georgia Lacrosse Club.
Wetmore said McConnell was a persistent supporter of starting a lacrosse program at Brenau, and because of that she is able to realize a dream of playing collegiate lacrosse.
“Allie will be a wonderful leader both on and off the field next year and I am excited to watch her live out her passion of playing lacrosse,” Wetmore said. “She brings a great deal of knowledge to the program and will have an immediate impact on the team. ”
McConnell said it is an honor to be part of Brenau’s first lacrosse team. “Playing lacrosse has always been one of my passions,” she said. “Being able to translate that passion into making history at Brenau is one of the most amazing and memorable things I will ever do.”
When Brenau added Wetmore to its athletics department staff as head lacrosse coach last year, it gave her a blank slate for building a team. However, Athletic Director Mike Lochstampfor said if anybody could get a Golden Tigers squad on the field in time to start intercollegiate play in February 2018, it was Wetmore.
Prior to her arrival at Brenau, Wetmore coached for five years at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama. She began recruiting prospective players the moment she moved to Gainesville. Lochstampfor says he hopes the lacrosse team will attract 20 to 30 new student-athletes from across the country. That would increase the number of Brenau University Women’s College student-athletes participating in intercollegiate athletics to more than 200 – about a quarter of the entire student body.
The Golden Tigers team will temporarily play homes games at public and private facilities in the Gainesville, Georgia, area. It ultimately aims to base the lacrosse team at the new Ernest Ledford Grindle Athletics Park at New Holland, about two miles from the main campus. Phase 1 of the development is complete, ready for the Friday, Feb. 10, home opener for the Golden Tigers softball team. Fundraising is underway for Phase 2 of the park, which includes facilities for soccer and lacrosse.
Lacrosse has steadily grown in popularity in high schools and colleges through the last decade. Since 2009, 92 new college lacrosse programs have been established, and the number of youth participating has tripled since 2000 to more than 770,000. It is Brenau’s 11th distinct National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics-recognized competitive sport team.
To learn more about Brenau’s new lacrosse team, visit http://www.brenautigers.com/sport/0/12.php.