Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

New men's lacrosse coach works to build strong program


Augustana’s football team wasn’t the only part of Augustana’s athletic program to undergo a coaching change this year.
The men’s lacrosse team also underwent a staff change, bringing Dan Torie, an assistant coach from Franklin & Marshall College, to Augustana for his first head coaching position.
Torie came into the program after previous head coach Kyle Hart left. Torie entered with high expectations, following last year’s season where the Vikings qualified for their first Division III National Tournament.
However, at the start of the season, the Vikings were staring down a grueling schedule by starting the season against nationally ranked Ohio Wesleyan University.
Augustana struggled against the fierce competition early on, stumbling to a 0-4 start while allowing 14 goals or more in three of their first four contests. Despite the slow start, Coach Torie wasn’t discouraged by the Vikings’ performance.
“(We) haven’t quite seen this tough of a schedule early on, so it really was hard to keep the team focused,” Torie said. “We were doing the right things; we didn’t need to change a ton.”
The Vikings found merit in Coach Torie’s words as the team has been 5-1 since their 0-4 start.
In their past six games, Augustana has only yielded a double digit score in one game.
Senior and captain Scott Davis attributed the team’s current hot streak to their fifth game of the season against Benedictine University, a game Augustana won 20-7.
“After that fourth game, we had a wonderful opportunity with Benedictine,” Davis said. “We really scouted them on film, and we were one hundred percent prepared. We were emotionally prepared, and we really wanted it. We were sick and tired of losing, and everybody wanted to come out of there with a win. We just finally bought into the new style of lacrosse that we were going to learn and from there it was just all uphill.”
Coach Torie believes his assistant coaches, Zachary Olsen and Mike McAleer, have been major contributors to the team’s recent success, as well as his players’ persistence and ability to be coached,
“They continued to buy in. It was kind of like Novocain, I think,” Torie said. “It took a little time, but we didn’t change a lot of things, we kept at it, and the guys stayed open to coaching. Maybe we’ve tweaked a little bit here and there, but we have really been perfecting.”
The Vikings continued their momentum with a 24-2 win over Concordia University Chicago on Saturday which brought their record to an even 5-5.
The Vikings will be at home on Wednesday against Aurora University and at home against Carroll College on Saturday.

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New men's lacrosse coach works to build strong program