By: Ruby Arani / GCU Staff
A coach’s job is never done.
That is true for Grand Canyon University Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach Tracy Gallihugh, who has spent a majority of the offseason recruiting a large class of 23 new players… and counting.
“Having the harder DI competition, we really need to add a lot of depth to our team,” Gallihugh said about her recruiting strategy. “My goal is to have a large team where all members are equally talented and passionate. The hope is to constantly have fresh legs on the field while always keeping the skill and intensity at its highest.
“Any team who has this kind of depth to it is extremely hard to beat.”
The 23 recruits range from 10 different states, and 19 of the 23 players are incoming freshman. The first group of seven players span across the board in talent and position.
Four all-around players are coming from Colorado to join the Lopes for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. Defender Bethlehem Schwab comes from Pine Creek High School Eagles Varsity team in Colorado Springs. Defender Kelsey Bentien competed for Colorado’s own Fuzion Lacrosse Club and Castle View Sabercats Varsity team in Castle Rock. Attacker and midfielder Lexia Bilstein hails from Littleton where she played for Chatfield High School Varsity team. Attacker/defender Addison (Addie) Welker is from Highland Ranch and competed on Monument’s very own New Image Lacrosse Club and Valor High School Varsity team. “Welker is a versatile, knowledgeable and a team player who is willing to play any position asked,” added Gallihugh.
Two Lopes’ recruits hail from California, defender Natalie Burgess and midfielder Hunter Crawford. Gallihugh pointed out that Bugress joins the Lopes with: “good field awareness, high lacrosse IQ, good stick handling skills and control.” Bugress comes from Lake Forest’s El Toro Chargers Varsity team. Crawford arrives from Vista Murrieta Bronco Varsity team in Murrieta.
One player joins the Lopes from Arizona. Julia Dillinger, from Prescott, recently received the GCU Dean Award, a scholarship given to a high school student with a 3.5-3.69 GPA and a 24 ACT or 1100-1170 SAT score.
“I am thrilled for all our new members to be a part of our program,” said Gallihugh. “They are all very excited to work hard to be able to perform at the college level. Their desire and determination to make a quick and lasting impact on our team is going to mesh extremely well with our already experienced and talented players.”
Want to play for the GCU Women’s Lacrosse team? Join today!