Coming off a regular season where they finished as the CCIW regular season champions, the Vikings are aiming to repeat that success during the CCIW tournament, which began this Wednesday against North Central College.
The Augustana women’s lacrosse team (9-5, 6-0) became 2017 regular season CCIW champions after defeating Carroll University 14-4 on April 26
Women’s lacrosse head coach Caroline Durham and the team were extremely satisfied with the game and with their season so far overall.
“I know the team has worked really hard to get to this point,” Durham said. “It’s a very different team than last year: different dynamic and numbers. To get through all those things and still be able to win and beat the top two teams in our conference is definitely a good feeling.”
The team has been conference champions for three consecutive years. Senior Olivia Mayer said it was fulfilling for the team to continue to win with the support from family, friends and alumni.
“It’s so nice just to see all of that hard work pay off and be able to continue that tradition of excellence, winning and [being] leaders in the conference,” Mayer said.
The Vikings were able to culminate a what started off with a 4-0 record turned into a 10-2 run to finish the season at 10-6 overall and 6-0 in the CCIW.
Durham said the team is thankful for this home field advantage because it helps with their mental game, especially since the tournament games will be of higher pressure than regular season games.
“We need to work on getting everyone to step up and playing their best game all season, especially if we can make it to that last game,” Durham said. “Being able to handle the pressure situations [is the key to success] so we have to continue to build on that.”
That being said, the team’s key focus this season has been working on their confidence. With a mostly sophomore dominated squad, the upperclassmen strived to help the underclassmen develop trust and build connections in the team.
Senior Hanna Gobeille said how there were many adjustments the team had to make due to the new players, but overall she is proud of the team’s success.
“Our on-field communication and making connections with each other on the field has been a large focus of ours,” Gobeille said. “Moving forward, we want to keep that up as well as make sure that we are playing a full 60 minutes and leave all we got on the field.”
This idea of “playing a full 60 minutes” is something that the team continues to work on. Durham said how there can be moments in a game when the team loses focus and stressed that this cannot be risked in the next coming games.
Mayer said the players need to continue to improve with their confidence levels so they can play their best and work as a team.
“We’re really hoping that we’re going to continue to play our game and show the conference that we’re still on top,” Mayer said.
Before starting the conference tournament, the team came off a six game win streak to play two non-conference games. The first was against Colorado College and the second was against Hamline University. The Vikings lost the first game 20-12, but then won the game on
Although having these games seem like a distraction for the team’s focus on the tournament, Durham called these games a “blessing” because the team is able to get extra practice in against tough competition without the same pressure that is present during the conference tournament.
“I think this is the best possible scenario,” Durham said. “It will be a good thing to poke holes at what we need to work on for the tournament.”
The results of the conference tournament will affect whether or not the team will play in the NCAA tournament.
While this is another goal in mind, the team wants to solely focus on winning their tournament games to get to this point. Gobeille emphasized that although the team plays with these bigger goals in mind, overall they want to have fun.
“We all want to get [there] together,” Gobeille said.