Every once in a while you come across a student here on Sonoma State’s campus that seems to be involved in a lot of aspects on campus.
Ashlee Floren, one of the captains of the Sonoma State University Women’s Lacrosse Club, is one of those people. Floren has not only been a part of the women’s lacrosse club for nearly four years, but she has had heavy involvement throughout Sonoma State’s Communications Department for years.
She has been heavily involved in KSUN Radio, the on-campus radio station, throughout her years here. She first had her own show, moved up to the business department head, and finally became general manager of the radio station this past year. Not only does she commit herself to the communications department but she has also been on the women’s lacrosse club for four years now.
Floren has had a passion for lacrosse for the past eight years. During Floren’s freshman year of high school her school developed a lacrosse team for the first time. She originally intended on trying out for the school musical, but she decided on lacrosse instead. She has been playing lacrosse ever since.
Lacrosse has not only changed her life but it has changed the life of her family as well. After picking up lacrosse her dad decided to learn about the sport. He then became Livermore High School’s assistant coach, where he still works today.
“Everything I do on the field is a direct influence of him and every goal I score, pass I catch or ground ball I get is always dedicated to him and his amazing mustache,” said Floren.
Now as a member of the women’s lacrosse club, her love for lacrosse has only grown, especially the love for her teammates. The team has gone through a lot of changes in her four years. They have changed coaches, divisions (moving from Division I to Division II), and personal struggles, but she says these adversities have only made them stronger as a team. Her teammates have become like a family to her and she loves teaching them and learning from them.
“Our team is such a ridiculous family and I love it. I always tell them that no matter what happens you play for the girl next to you and I feel that is exactly how we play,” said Floren. “I love these girls so much I do not know what I would do without them.”
Hayley O’Neill, one of Floren’s teammates, has known and played with her throughout her four years at Sonoma State University. One of the things that O’Neill admires about Floren is that she is a great motivator. She leads by example, tries her hardest and gives her all to everything she does.
O’Neill believes that with Floren’s motivation this year’s women’s lacrosse team is one of the strongest they’ve ever had.
“Our team works very well together. We are all very close on and off the field which makes playing lacrosse together more fun,” said O’Neill. “Everyone helps each other to learn better ways to play, or to correct any technical mistakes or bad habits. Being friends with everyone keeps it light hearted because we all know that we are trying to improve as individual players and as a team.”
Mac Sweeney, Floren’s coach, has been coaching her and the rest of the Sonoma State University women’s lacrosse team for the past two seasons. He sees Floren as a model captain for the team. The team has a range of students anywhere from freshmen to seniors and beginners to advanced players. He believes that Floren does a great job of keeping everyone involved and is a very valued part of the team. Sweeney said that this kind of dedication and involvement has lead to a great season for the Seawolves.
“I feel great. We have a lot of young players and a strong veteran back bone of the team and I think its great to see that the girls are all coming together as a unit and really getting better each week,” said Sweeney.
This week the Seawolves will travel to San Diego to take on the University San Diego women’s lacrosse team on Friday and UC San Diego women’s lacrosse team on Saturday.