Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Kargl: More than meets the eye

Kargl drives down the field during the Vikings home game against Carroll on April 18. They went on to win 26-0. Photo by Linnea Ritchie.

Kargl drives down the field during the Vikings home game against Carroll on April 18. They went on to win 26-0. Photo by Linnea Ritchie.
Kargl drives down the field during the Vikings home game against Carroll on April 18. They went on to win 26-0.
Photo by Linnea Ritchie.

Listed generously at 4 feet 11 inches, Hilary Kargl appears tiny on the lacrosse field, but her impact on the Vikings women’s lacrosse team is anything but.
The senior attacker leads the 14-1Vikings with 103 points (57 goals and 46 assists) this season. Entering her final season, Kargl was Augustana’s career leader in points (314), goals (194), and assists (120).
Last season, Kargl led the Vikings to an undefeated regular season, before losing in the sweet 16 to national powerhouse Salisbury. Head coach Sara Tisdale’s Vikings finished their memorable journey19-1.
When Kargl was a senior at Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, she had no intention of playing at Augustana; until she met Sara Tisdale.
“I didn’t intend to play in college,” Kargl said. “But when I met Coach Tisdale at a lacrosse tournament up here (at Augustana), I decided I’d give it a shot.”
Although Augustana had tremendous success over Kargl’s first three seasons, compiling a 51-8 record, things would be different this season without the direction of their leader and head coach. Following last season, Sara Tisdale accepted the head coaching position at her alma mater, Central Michigan University.
Stepping in to fill the void this season was first–year coach Meredith Newman. Kargl and senior defender/midfielder Emily Pavlik talked about the benefits of learning from different coaching personalities.
“It’s been a big adjustment but I think we all looked forward to it,” Kargl said. “Not everyone is fortunate enough to get two different points of view coaching. We were able to take everything from Tisdale and add it to everything Newman teaches us.”
“The seniors and the upperclassmen altogether made sure that some of the traditions carried over,” Pavlik said. “But we were still very open to the changes that Newman brought in.”
The Vikings trounced Carroll and Elmhurst over the weekend by a combined score of 48-1. Kargl scored 15 points in the two games, ten of them on assists.
Newman spoke of Kargl’s skill development.
“Hilary has evolved a lot as a player over the last four years,” said Newman. “She’s obviously a very proficient scorer, but she’s also very good at setting other players up for success.”
“I think (Hilary) leads by example and gives good positive criticism,” added junior attacker Emily Handrahan. “Especially when Coach may not see something from the sideline, Hil will help out by talking to others on the field.”
Kargl’s spectacular play throughout her career earned her a spot on this year’s preseason All-American team by Lacrosse Magazine, as well as the winner of the fan vote for NCAA Division III Preseason Player of the Year.
The preseason accolades did not come as a surprise to Pavlik and Newman.
“We were definitely happy for her,” Pavlik said. “I wasn’t surprised because I’ve played with her all four years and I know how good she is; she deserves it.”
“The country is kind of taking note of Augustana lacrosse,” said Newman. “Hilary has been our point leader all three years and continues to be now. So, I’m not overly surprised that she gained national recognition.”
Newman believes that the tiny senior from Louisville can make big noise as the Vikings move toward the postseason.
“(Hilary) is a relentlessly pursue excellence kind of person,” said Newman. “She definitely has no (problem) with holding other people accountable. She’s aggressively competitive and I think that drives our team forward.”
With Kargl’s driving force, the Vikings look forward to their next match against North Central in Naperville, Il on Saturday. This will be the team’s last regular season match of the year before beginning CCIW tournament play.

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Kargl: More than meets the eye