Lacrosse debut breaks ground

Varsity women’s lacrosse team plays inaugural competitive game.


Jasmine Lee

The team poses for a photo after their first win on Feb. 21.

Josh Dungan, Senior Reporter

A decade of club-level competition all led to last Sunday, February 21, when the Hamline women’s lacrosse team stepped onto the field to begin their first collegiately sanctioned game.

“It was more exciting than nerve-wracking,” said senior attacker Hayley Springer. “We’ve been getting to know each other since the fall so we all felt comfortable with each other and we were ready to have a team to play against.”

As a first year program, wins and losses are far from the minds of the players and coaches.

“Right now, we’re not so much focused on winning or losing but on building the program,” said junior midfielder Lindsey Jackman. “We want to make the team more like a family, having a good environment for a team, and building a good foundation for years to come.”

The Hamline team played their first game in Augsburg’s covered dome, as Klas Field is not yet ready for play. The Pipers played in the second game of a doubleheader against Beloit College (Wisconsin), who played in the first game of the day against Augsburg.

The Pipers are competing as an independent program this year before moving into conference play next year.

“We’ll be competing in the Midwest Women’s Lacrosse Conference next year,” said head coach Karen Heggernes.

This year’s team features an eclectic group of players. Eleven players moved from the club team to the new varsity team, seven players are multi-sport athletes competing on the women’s hockey team, and a mix of transfers and recruits have been added to the program.

“Playing two sports, I wasn’t able to practice fully with the lacrosse team,” said first-year goalie Molly Dionne, who is the third-string goalie for the women’s hockey team. “I was able to do my hockey training and stuff, but I wasn’t able to work in game situations. So when someone’s barrelling down the field for the first time, I’ll have to get right back into it.”

The seven hockey players have had a varying level of interaction with the lacrosse program during the hockey season, reliant mostly on their playing time in hockey, but they will be working hard over the next several weeks to integrate themselves back onto the lacrosse team.

“We’ve been supporting the team from afar during the hockey season,” said Jackman. “We’re just going to get right back into it and be with the team as much as we can.”

It’s been a long process just getting the team to the point where they are ready to compete at a collegiate level, and the team has been keeping watch on the other fledgling programs in the state to see what works and what doesn’t.

“Augsburg jumped the gun two years ahead of us, which has been great for us, because they went through a lot of growing pains that we haven’t had to,” said Heggernes.

What’s been the toughest transition for the players?

“Trying to figure out how to play with each other,” said Springer. “About half of us played together on the club team but we’ve been working on playing with everyone else that was brought in.”

The team won their first game over Beloit with a final score of 13-7. With their first win in the books, the lacrosse team has time to re-integrate their hockey-playing teammates and prepare for their next game which will take place at 3 p.m. March 8, either at Augsburg or, if it is warm enough, Klas Field against Concordia (Ill.).