It’s been a busy two months since Eva Cavallo joined the Lax Ranch as the head coach for the girls. We finally got her to sit down for a few minutes and catch up:
LP: Eva, your background is amazing – N. Carolina Captain, Team USA starter – what brings you here?
EC: Well thanks. I couldn’t have had a better college experience as a player and travelling with the USA squad was amazing. Wherever we went the audiences were enthusiastic and friendly. Until we have a professional league for the ladies, though, that’s about as far as the ride goes so I’m here for my graduate studies.
LP: What are you studying?
EC: I studied social psych at NC so I’m continuing that with a specialty in education.
LP: What kind of challenges have you encountered in starting a girls program in an area that’s new to the sport?
EC: It’s been amazing. Everything is new so we have the opportunity to start our own traditions and incorporate the latest ideas. It does take a lot of work, though, to start from scratch like this. When I was little, I played with the boys until we had a girls team. I miss the aggressiveness of the boys game but also appreciate the finesse of the girls game.
LP: So what’s your stance on maintaining the separation between the guys and girls sport?
EC: I like the fact that the girls game holds to the original sport more than the boys. In many ways the guys game is lazy – it takes much more focus to catch with no pocket. At the same time, many girls would be happy to strap on the pads and kick some butt.
LP: What kind of response have you gotten from the team and community?
EC: I love the people here – they’ve been very welcoming and supportive. The coaches understand the importance of having the girls team, the players are thrilled to have an opportunity to play a field sport, and the parents have been fantastic. People call me “Coach” all over town and I still catch myself looking around to see who they’re talking to.
LP: It’s still early, but after your preseason games the last few weeks, what expectations have you set for the team?
EC: We’re going to have a great time. These girls are tough and competitive so I think they’ll do well but they also like to have fun and don’t take themselves too seriously.