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Blaxers Blog: The Recent Wave of Notable Black Girls' Lacrosse Recruits

US Lacrosse Magazine has partnered with Blaxers Blog to produce a series of stories that illuminate the minority lacrosse experience and promote the accomplishments of those individuals who have defied stereotypes to succeed in the sport.

Read more about Blaxers Blog and the content partnership here.

Two of the most talented and diverse recruiting classes in some time are set to hit the NCAA women’s lacrosse scene in 2021 and 2022. A recent wave of notable Black girls’ lacrosse recruits have committed to college programs at a time when many programs struggle to diversify their rosters. Without proper representation, the sport will continue to appear uninviting to prospective players and fans.

According to the 2019 NCAA Demographic Database statistics, Black women account for 5 percent of total student-athletes (24,455) and 3 percent of women’s lacrosse players (429) across all three NCAA divisions.

“With COVID, my recruiting experience was bound to be unique from years prior,” UConn commit Alana Goldhaber said. “I would say that my recruiting experience was different than that of a white athlete, in the sense that I had to take a lot of things into consideration that other players might not have. I wanted to make sure I was going to a program and school that was welcoming and accepting to someone like me.”

That experience and outlook was shared by other college prospects.

“I remember as a child flipping through lacrosse magazines and going to collegiate games looking for girls who looked like me and many times failed to even find one person of color,” Boston College commit Chrystina Bennett said. “I think that having someone to watch and admire who looks like you will help inspire more young girls of color to pick up a stick.”

Representation in lacrosse media can indeed help spread the game.

“Usually it is hard to find a person of color on any lacrosse magazine or news article or on the big lax pages, and it can be very discouraging,” Syracuse commit Superia Clark said. “I would say it should not matter what you look like. If you have the heart and can play the game, then so be it.” 

Princeton commit Juliana Williams said college coaches need to be intentional in recruiting players of color.

“I think all coaches should be more active in recruiting players of color,” she said. “The sport of lacrosse is such an amazing game and having the opportunity to play has been one of the most important things to me. I think that growing the sport towards more people in the Black community is important so that other girls and even boys of color have the same opportunities to experience the game as I and many others have.”

Below, Blaxers Blog and US Lacrosse Magazine highlight a few of the Black lacrosse players who will take their games to the collegiate level in the next few years.

“I think that having someone to watch and admire who looks like you will help inspire more young girls of color to pick up a stick.” — Chrystina Bennett

Lucie Diatta

Hometown: Marshall, Mich.
High School: Culver Academy
Position: Midfield/Defense
Class: 2021

Diatta has committed to Dickinson College and has played at the club level with Triumph Lacrosse. While attending Culver Academy, Diatta has served as a Duchossois Scholar, a distinguished merit-based scholarship that emphasizes leadership and community engagement. Aside from lacrosse, Diatta is a fencer and soccer player at Culver. Diatta is also a member of the Fine Arts Society and speaks Mandarin Chinese and French.

Chrystina Bennett

Hometown: Owings Mills, Md.
High School: McDonogh School
Position: Defense
Class: 2022

Bennett has committed to Boston College and plays at the club level with M&D Lacrosse Black. 

“The coaching staff at Boston College allowed me to have a voice in the process and was able to listen to my ideas and experiences of the lack of diversity in the game,” she said. “Not only did I feel comfortable talking to them about these hard topics, but I felt that they were accepting of me not only as the player that I am, but the person.”

Superia Clark

Hometown: Dover, Del.
High School: Dover High School
Position: Midfield/Defense
Class: 2022

Clark has committed to Syracuse and plays at the club level with Eastern Shore Lacrosse Club. Clark has led Dover High School in draw controls and has started every game since her freshman year. Clark said her strengths are fighting for ground balls and scoring in one-on-one situations. Clark describes herself as coachable and a quick learner. Clark also plays field hockey at Dover.

Alana Goldhaber

Hometown: Stamford, Conn.
High School: Stamford High School
Position: Midfield
Class: 2022

Goldhaber has committed to UConn and plays at the club level with Sound Lacrosse. With her commitment, Goldhaber made history as the first Division I lacrosse recruit from Stamford High School. Since her freshman campaign, Goldhaber has started every game and was awarded 2019 Rookie of the Year honors after scoring 28 goals and dishing 40 assists. Goldhaber also runs track in the winter and cross country during the lacrosse offseason.

Amadi Higgins

Hometown: Bowie, Md.
High School: St. Vincent Pallotti High School
Position: Attack/Midfield/Draw Specialist
Class: 2022

Higgins has committed to Richmond and plays at the club level with Uproar Lacrosse. During her 2019 freshman season, Higgins was nominated to the Washington Post All-Met list after leading Bowie High School with 89 goals, 28 assists, 68 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers. Higgins was also given the MPSSAA Minds in Motion Scholar Athlete Award. After transferring to Pallotti High School, Higgins improved her quick stick ability and power shots enroute to her National Lacrosse Classic 2022 All-Star Game roster nomination.

Chloe Jones

Hometown: Dover, Del.
High School: Ursuline Academy
Position: Midfield/Defense
Class: 2022

Jones joins Superia Clark, her best friend, as a Syracuse commit. Jones’ lacrosse resume is already impressive, having been named a WPLL Regional selection as well as an Under Armour All-American Junior Spotlight selection. Off the field, Jones has started a training program for inner-city girls ages 6 to 14. The free clinics are run every Tuesday through the Green Beret Project.

Asjia Roberson

Hometown: Redondo Beach, Calif.
High School: Redondo Union High School
Position: Defense/Midfield
Class: 2022

Roberson has committed to USC and plays at the club level with LA Fire Lacrosse. Roberson earned All-Academic Team honors in 2019 and 2020. Roberson was named team captain at Redondo Union for the upcoming 2021 season after winning 2020 Defender of the Year honors. She was a 2020 Under Armour U15 alternate, a 2020 Adrenaline All-America nominee and a 2020 WPLL Futures National Championship Summit participant.

Sydney Smith

Hometown: Mt. Airy, Md.
High School: McDonogh School
Position: Defense
Class: 2022

Smith has committed to Duke and plays at the club level with M&D Lacrosse Black. Smith effectively creates turnovers, secures ground balls, and excels on transition into the offensive zone. Duke runs a similar defensive scheme, and the Blue Devils ranked sixth nationally for caused turnovers per game (12.33) in 2020. Smith also serves as SGA Vice President at McDonogh. 

Juliana Williams

Hometown: Forest Hill, Md.
High School: Fallston High School
Position: Midfield/Draw Specialist/Defense
Class: 2022

Williams has committed to Princeton and plays at the club level with Sky Walkers Lacrosse. Williams has started every game since her freshman year as a midfielder and draw specialist. After her freshman season, Williams earned Second Team All-Harford County honors. Williams elusively wins ground ball battles after draws. She was an Under Armour U15 selection.



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