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Historic day for Women’s Lacrosse arrives with Play Day


On Oct. 8 history was made in the women’s lacrosse world as an all HBCU showcase was hosted at Virginia State University. There were six teams in total two from the Division I level Howard University and Delaware State University, two from the Division II level Virginia State University and University of District of Columbia and two club level teams in Morgan State and Spelman University. 

The Lady Trojans took on Howard University and Delaware State University in two competitive matches and ended the day with a meet and greet with all of the teams in attendance. 

Three players, Jhalin Hooks, Grace Hall, and Trinity Oseni, from the Virginia State Women’s Lacrosse team spoke on the record about their transition from high school to college, as well as their future visions for the program.

1. What does having this event mean to you?

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Trinity Oseni – “This event means a lot to me since playing lacrosse isn’t a sport a typical black girl would play. So to have an opportunity to showcase amazing black women do what they love is such an amazing opportunity that I know will soon impact the women lacrosse world in the future.”

Grace Hall – “Having this event is incredibly meaningful to me. It’s an opportunity to showcase the talent and dedication of our team, and it’s a significant milestone for women’s lacrosse at our university. It’s a chance to celebrate the hard work we’ve put in and to inspire other young women who might be considering playing lacrosse. Plus, it’s a great way to promote the sport within our HBCU community and beyond.”

Jhalin Hooks – “This event was significant to me because it was a unique experience to showcase black lacrosse. Personally, growing up, I had no true role models in the lacrosse world because few of the players looked like me. But now with events like this, I hope that many little black girls and boys are able to see that they too can be successful in this sport.”

2. How is the transition from high school to Division II?

Trinity Oseni – “The transition was a reality check. Playing at the collegiate level, I worked more in depth on the small things that might not matter at the high school level. It has shown me you have to be uncomfortable not being the best player but being the best player for the team overall.”

Grace Hall – “The transition from high school to D2 lacrosse has been both challenging and rewarding. D2 lacrosse is a higher level of competition, and it requires a lot more commitment and dedication. The practices are more intense, and the game strategies are more advanced. However, it’s also been an incredible learning experience. I’ve had the chance to grow as a player and work with amazing coaches and teammates who have pushed me to become a better athlete and student.”

Jhalin Hooks – “The transition from high school lacrosse to college has been a mental challenge as much as it has been a physical one. It takes a lot of dedication to wake up every morning at 5 a.m. and put your best foot forward in lift or practice, and still prioritize your education. However, that hard work  proves to be worth it on the field.”

3. How is it playing at an HBCU? 

Trinity Oseni – “Playing at a HBCU is such an amazing opportunity especially since we get to prove to be that we are able to play at the same level as a PWI. I feel that people of different ethnicities tend to look the other direction from HBCUs, when we have just as much talent as anyone who plays at a PWI.”

Jhalin Hooks – “Playing at an HBCU is an opportunity that I did not think I would have. With the limited number of HBCU lacrosse teams, I was unsure if I would fulfill my dream of playing for one. Coach Ashley and VSU presented an opportunity that allowed me to turn that dream into a reality. Many black lax players have to fight racism and prejudice to even see the field, so it is refreshing to be on a team where I know my race will not affect my playing.”

4. With the way women’s lacrosse is growing, where do you see the program in four years? 

Trinity Oseni – “In the next four years I see our program being one of the top HBCU programs as well as being a known establishment among other D2 schools. Our coaching staff does a profound job recruiting girls with different skills to compliment other players which makes an overall better program for us.”

Grace Hall – “I believe our women’s lacrosse program has a bright future. With the growth of the sport, I see our program becoming even more competitive. In four years, I envision us as strong contenders in our conference and possibly even advancing to championships. I also hope that we’ll continue to attract talented players and gain more recognition and support from our university and the community.”

Jhalin Hooks – “Now that we have hosted our first play day, I believe that more organizations will be watching to see what we do next. I believe that our program will expand and grow even stronger over the next four years.”

5. What is one thing fans should look for when watching?

Trinity Oseni –– “The fans should look out for our speed and our strong determination that we all have. We are a very talented team and we never give up until the whistle. We have very great teamwork that allows us to play very well together.”

Grace Hall – “When watching our lacrosse team, fans should keep an eye out for our teamwork and determination. Our team spirit and the way we support each other are qualities that make us stand out, and we hope our fans will be inspired by our passion for the game.”

Jhalin Hooks – “I think fans should definitely watch how we support each other. We work hard on the field, but we definitely celebrate with each other when the time is right.”

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