An explanation of lacrosse camaraderie.

Girls streamed into the ESD stadium on April 21, wearing their team colors and carrying posters and cowbells. The fans eagerly anticipated one of the best lacrosse games of the season. But they weren’t there to check out the mesh pinnies or wavy “flow” of the Lax Bro. They sought an entirely different phenomenon: girls’ lacrosse.

Towards the end of the season, a large turnout was not uncommon at Hockaday varsity lacrosse games. Continuing its winning streak, the team placed fifth in SPC and won the North Zone District Championship, at which junior Maggie was honored as the Championship’s Most Valuable Player

In particular, the late-April District Games saw a dramatic surge in fans. Junior midfielder Haley Freeman says that “districts were much bigger events than the regular season games, so that encouraged a lot more participation.” But if fans went because of the hype, they stayed for the action on the field.

Junior Claire, who attended the April 27 District Final versus Ursuline, said she “went to the lacrosse game mainly to cheer for all my  friends and Hockaday without any real interest in the game… But once I got there I got so into the game. I was impressed with how good high school girls are [at lacrosse]. I never credited girls with having the same skills as boys, but the game proved me wrong.”

With players like Notre-Dame-bound defender Taylor and attack player Maggie, HLAX satisfies fans who seek a fast-paced game.

While Bros entice spectators with backwards hats and pastel shorts, HLAX mastered another art: advertisement. Recruiting through both Upper School Student Notices and Facebook, the team drew a crowd that surpassed the usual parent and faculty sponsors.

Junior goalie Zoe says, “it was really nice to have a fan base and it made [the team] play with a little more confidence.”

Attack player Avery agreed, saying that “having fans…gave us even more motivation and adrenaline.”

The 2011 HLAX team has demonstrated a level of spirit unlikely to be witnessed at St. Mark’s. While the SMLAX Bros find it redundant to remind their peers that “lax is life,” HLAX has taken a different approach, writing the phrase on their cars in neon paint. And rather than carry their lacrosse sticks everywhere, Hockaday players have chosen to flaunt their athleticism through customized crew socks and sports bras.

The season may have ended, but if you still need to identify one of Hockaday’s lacrosse players, never fear—crew sock tans last long into the summer months.