Marquette women's lacrosse team fights against pancreatic cancer

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Lacrosse has its origins in a tribal game played by Native Americans. Gradually, the sport has made its way from the East Coast to the Midwest. In fact, Marquette University now has men's and women's teams.

Meredith Black was an All-American at Notre Dame, so coaching a startup program (the Golden Eagles finished 2-15 this season) can be a bit frustrating at times. However, she calls it the best job in the world.

Coach Black's Golden Eagles became very competitive, and years from now, it will be neat to know that these young ladies helped build the foundation of the program.

Men's lacrosse is akin to hockey. There is plenty of skill involved, but it can be rough at times. The women's game is more finesse, like fast break basketball. Still, what possesses a young woman to take the bumps and bruises that go with what is called the fastest game on two feet? Some players say it is all about the adrenaline rush -- and the passion for the game.

Though the Golden Eagles dealt with losses this season, a loss on the field is one thing. Losing a loved one to pancreatic cancer is obviously far worse. Several members of the team have been hit hard by the disease.

The women's lacrosse team has worked to raise awareness and funds for the fight against pancreatic cancer.

The disease has held significance for far too many program members, including Coach Black, whose former college teammate's mother succumbed to the disease in December of 2010.

"Our program has teamed up with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network over the past year as a way of shedding light on a horrendous disease that has affected many individuals dear to us. It is our hope that our actions will help raise awareness of a formidable foe, the fight against which has been overlooked and underfunded for far too long. The battle with pancreatic cancer cannot be won this weekend, but our efforts to raise funds will help progress towards a victory in the not-so-distant future," Black said.

The squad has been active with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network for the past year, raising funds and participating in a candlelight vigil on Sept. 30, 2012 on Marquette's campus.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and one of the most painful and deadly.