Kalamazoo United Lacrosse Team: Athletes Across Kalamazoo Join Forces


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Kalamazoo Central freshman Julia Weller catches the ball for the Kalamazoo United Lacrosse team. Intercepting catches from the opposing team is a key way for players to stop their competitors from scoring more points. Photo Credit / Devon Gross


It’s a cool misty day in early April. After a long, tiring day of school, girls both from Loy Norrix and Kalamazoo Central high schools march onto the lacrosse field to prepare for their upcoming game.
The Kalamazoo United Lacrosse program brings together high school students from the Kalamazoo area to form separate lacrosse teams for men and women. The athletes who are on this team, as lacrosse representatives for both Loy Norrix and Kalamazoo Central, earn varsity letters recognized by the two high schools.
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Pictured from left to right, Loy Norrix Junior Aria Kleber, Norrix Senior Mariah Sarrelis and Kalamazoo Central Senior Ellie Mutaz. The three Kalamazoo United captains pose for a photo after their teams first game of the season. Photo Credit / Devon Gross


This year, the women’s lacrosse team has a total of 18 players. The three team captains, Norrix Junior Aria Kleber, Norrix senior, Mariah Sareils, and Kalamazoo Central senior, Ellie Matuz had high hopes for this past season.
“I feel like the team this year has a lot more potential than we have in the past, and I think we could go somewhere,” said Kleber.
“There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm and internal motivation from the team. We have a lot of new girls that are showing amazing potential and it’s really exciting,” added Matuz.
So far this season, the Lady Warriors have won five of their 13 games, blowing away their zero win season from 2017.  The girls on the team work together to communicate and support each other to improve the game as a whole.
The Kalamazoo United Women’s Lacrosse team has three seniors graduating this year: from Kalamazoo Central, Anna Gunnerson and Ellie Matuz and from Loy Norrix, Mariah Sareilis.  Though none of the seniors are sure whether or not they plan to play in college, they are excited for their teammates to continue playing and come back with full force next season.
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The players chase after the ball during their lacrosse game. Kalamazoo United takes this opportunity to get the ball and score points for their team. Photo Credit / Devon Gross