Editor’s Note: Lauren Norris is serving as the head coach of the women’s national team. Norris returns to the helm after leading Israel to an 8th place finish at the 2013 World Cup in Canada. She is coaching in honor of Lustgarten Foundation. The following is Lauren’s reflection on what representing Israel means to her and includes an explanation of why she has chosen to support Lustgarten Foundation in conjunction with the Israel Lacrosse Tzedakah Program. Follow this link to support Lauren, Lustgarten Foundation, and Israel Lacrosse.
“I will always remember college practices on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and running off the field after a game to jump into my parents car and head over to Passover Seder. I shared this in common with only one other person on my team, who became my best friend, and coached this team with me in the 2013 World Cup. We bonded over the fact that no one else understood that these holidays were important to us or even understood what they were. I believe that our religion and upbringing is a big reason that we became so close so quickly. I imagine that everyone on this team has experienced what I did as a player, and can relate to that story. That is why being given the chance to coach a team that will be representing Israel, where every player and coach values their experiences growing up with some level of Judaism in their life is very special to me. I look forward to bonding on many levels with the team, but I am especially excited about sharing this cultural experience with them.
The most memorable moments of my lacrosse career have never been the wins on the fields. Although winning conference championships and even a national championship were extremely memorable, the most memorable experience for me happened in 2013 when I had the opportunity to coach this team for the first time. My father had just passed away, and i was about to go to Israel to coach a team of girls that I barely knew. We trained there for a week; practicing, traveling, sightseeing, and simply getting to know one another. From there, we flew to Canada to compete as a team in our first ever World Cup. The night before we took the field for the very first time, we sat in a room and one at a time spoke about our most memorable moments from the previous week. By the end of the night, we were all in tears professing our love for one another. An unbreakable bond had been formed. The next day when we took the field, the girls put on their uniforms, and my Dad’s initials were screen-printed on the heart of all of our jerseys (I did not know that Scott and the girls had this done). The icing on the cake was the win over Germany that day, which we had promised our IDF friends. Most incredible experience ever.
I am coaching in honor of the Lustgarten Foundation. The mission of this foundation is to advance the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer. My dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February of 2013, and he passed away three months later, which was just one month shy of the 2013 World Cup. My dad led a wonderful life, and touched the hearts of so many people. I would have given anything to prolong his life for years, months, weeks, or even one day. He wanted nothing more than to make it to Toronto in 2013 to see our team compete in the World Cup. I hope that my contribution to this foundation gives people at least one more day with their loved ones and allows each patient to live to experience one more joyous occasion with their families and friends.” – LN
Come back every day to make sure you meet the whole team!
Everything Israel Lacrosse does is 100% accomplished through fundraising. We cannot grow the game of lacrosse, help Israel’s youth develop active lifestyles and leadership skills, and perform competitively on the international stage without your help.