Brooke Eubanks finished her seventh season as head coach of the Cal lacrosse team in 2021. Eubanks reflects on this past year and looks ahead to 2022.
Please consider a gift to lacrosse in the Roll On campaign to support exceptional student-athlete experiences. Thank you to everyone who has made gifts to the campaign to support your favorite programs and Cal Athletics initiatives.
Catherine Roxas, LizaBanks Campagna and Nikki Zaccaro showed their phenomenal leadership skills by launching the #GoBearsGoVote initiative in the fall. What did it mean to you to have Catherine Roxas participate in the inaugural Cal Athletics Leadership Showcase hosted by the Cameron Institute earlier this month?
“It was fun to see the #GoBearsGoVote initiative develop in the summer of 2020 and into the school year. Cat Roxas called me last summer to talk about a vision she had and what I thought about it. She worked diligently to make an idea into a movement. It was exciting to see her teammates quickly get on board and develop a great campaign to register student-athletes to vote. It was an honor to have a Cal women’s lacrosse player present in the inaugural Cal Athletics Leadership Showcase. It was an amazing opportunity for her to talk about leadership and what it means to her. The event was a huge success, and it was an amazing platform to hear from our young leaders. I’m looking forward to watching it in the years to come.”
What lessons will your team take from 2021 into the 2022 campaign?
“There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the 2021 season. COVID-19 was definitely a challenge for many people, and that was no different for athletes trying to play the sport that they love. A motto that we used this season was "Adjust we must." We knew that anything could change at any moment — how we needed to access a facility, how we did COVID testing, the amount of people we could have at practice, etc. Developing a flexible mindset was crucial. Sometimes we were faced with things that would change hours before a practice or competition. We had to adjust the way we practiced, the way we prepped for games and the way we spent our time together. This past year was definitely challenging, but at the same time, it was rewarding as well. Over a year ago, we had no idea if we were even going to play this year. Even though there were rules and mandates to follow, it was worth it to be on the field and with each other. At the end of the day, being flexible and adjusting to challenges that come your way is an extremely important life lesson.”
Your team was one of the few lacrosse programs in the country to not have any games cancelled due to COVID-19 this season. Can you speak to your team's commitment to each other during this challenging season?
“It’s a pretty big thing to be able to say that you didn’t have one game canceled or postponed because of COVID-19-related issues. It takes a lot of discipline and commitment to protocols and procedures. It is not an easy task to navigate, and I’m extremely proud that we stayed on the field and were healthy the entire time.”
LizaBanks Campagna (first team) and Nikki Zaccaro (second team) earned All-Pac-12 honors this season. What have these two seniors and the rest of your senior class meant to the development of your program?
“We have an extremely talented and dedicated senior class leaving us this year. They have poured their hearts and souls into the program, and it has been fun to be a part of their journey and development over these past four-plus years. They are a huge part of our program, leading our success on and off the field. They definitely leave some big shoes to fill.”
For those interested in supporting your program through philanthropy, what are some of your priorities to help Cal lacrosse continue to grow and challenge for a Pac-12 title?
“Some of our top priorities are: closing the gap in scholarships between the other Pac-12 schools, continuing to have the funds to travel and compete against the top lacrosse schools around the country outside of the Pac-12, and traveling to recruit around the country and bringing those top recruits for visits, so we can truly show them all the amazing things Cal has to offer.”