Women’s Lacrosse forming strong team


Olivia Hagerty

The Augustana women’s lacrosse team returned to home action with a 19-10 win against Concordia-Wisconsin on Saturday, Mar. 16, after falling to Wittenberg last week. 
With the team predicted to finish sixth in the CCIW coaches’ poll, the Vikings are looking to improve on last year’s 8-7 record by getting off to a fast start. 
Senior captain Christina McCabe has  begun her final season by receiving CCIW Offensive Player of the Week for her performance in the Vikings’ season-opening 13-10 win over Hendrix on Sunday, Feb. 24.
“We want to play for each other and not as individuals” McCabe said. “As captain, I want to set a good standard for being a disciplined player because that is something we can all take with us when we are no longer athletes and go into the real world.”
Roster numbers are down this year, but the Vikings field a big freshman class, giving McCabe and the team’s other three seniors a chance to boost morale. 
Senior Carla Bennett said she wants to leave as much senior knowledge as she can give to the younger players. 
“Even though we have that disadvantage [of a small team], some advantage is that we are in good shape,” Bennett said. “Because our team is small and our team is very close, we have a good team culture. Our seniors bring a lot of spunk. We are very hard working, driven and bring so much fun to the table.” 
McCabe said she wants the freshmen to embrace the qualities the seniors bring to the team.
“Our seniors set a really good standard for friendships on the team. We always get each other and understand each other,” McCabe said. “Even though we have a lot of differences, we respect everyone’s difference. It’s awesome to see the freshmen class close and the bonds that they have, while also seeing how they learn from one another.”
The Vikings’ five freshmen are already making an impact. Midfielder Kate Hettiger is adjusting in her first season by bonding with her teammates and absorbing all that comes with playing at the collegiate level. 
Hettinger scored two goals and had three assists to help her team against Concordia-Wisconsin on Saturday. 
“College Lacrosse is a whole different level of playing that takes a lot of patience, practice and getting used to,” Hettinger said. “The sport is no longer one season but it is year round with conditioning, lifting, practice, meetings and team bonding. Our freshmen class is great.”
From a coaching standpoint, head coach Caroline Holder said getting the freshmen to mesh with the seniors has been a smooth transition.
“They work pretty well together,” Holder said. “To continue going forward, they have to get used to the change in pace of the game. They all came from good lacrosse backgrounds, so they came in with a good foundation.” 
The Vikings will face Wisconsin-River Falls Saturday, Mar. 23, and Adrian  on Sunday, Mar. 24, both will be hosted at Thorson-Lucken Field.
Featured image: Augustana first-year Kathryn Hettiger tried to keep ahold of the ball amid her Concordia-Wisconsin opponents. Augustana won 19-10 on Saturday, Mar. 16 at home. Photo by Ian Murrin.