The Augustana men’s lacrosse team has been bitten by the worst bug in all of sports: the injury bug. While battling through several injuries, the Vikings have started off the year with a 3-6 record.
The theme for Vikings practices from here on out is team chemistry. The Vikings have dealt with several moving parts in their first few games.
“Our team chemistry is kind of low right now. We need to control what we demand. We have had to make a lot of changes like defenseman playing offense. We need to get healthy,” said sophomore attackman Nick Gallo.
Before the Vikings take on CCIW teams, they are looking to gain continuity and confidence, according to head coach Dan Torie.
The biggest factor for the Vikings coming to form before CCIW play will be some “time to themselves”.
“We had a lot of games early on, where we had to do a lot of preparation. Now we have a couple of weeks here before conference play where we can really look hard at ourselves and work on our own game,” said Torie.
The Vikings played at home this weekend against Albion College. Despite the home-field advantage, the Vikings found themselves overwhelmed in a 5-13 loss. The loss comes before their upcoming game against Beloit College this Saturday at Beloit. But, it also comes after some losses to the team’s personnel.
Injuries have been plaguing the Vikings this season. They hope to get their team back to full strength as soon as they can.
Although the Vikings have dealt with injuries, it has not stopped Gallo from being the team’s leading scorer. Gallo leads the team with 15 goals and 17 points overall in their first 9 games.
However, both Gallo and Torie agree that those numbers aren’t just from Gallo.
“It has really been a team aspect. Nick has done a nice job working as a part of a unit,” Torie said. “In lacrosse, Nick’s position is covered by a defenseman with a long pole. We have to rely on his teammates covered by a short pole to initiate the offense and give Nick opportunities.”
Torie also singled out a few guys, sophomores Jason Van Dyke and Erick Krall and senior Luke Burrow, that have stepped up in the midst of injuries and became leaders on the team.
“We have had injuries at the midfield and been playing with limited numbers there so those guys have done everything we have asked,” said Torie.
Up next for the Vikings is their match against Beloit College at 1 p.m. this Saturday.