Streak to start from scratch

The end of a six-game winning streak for Hamline’s lacrosse team is just the beginning of the season.

Rebecca Higgins, Reporter

Winning streaks, unfortunately, all must come to an end. The UConn women’s basketball team learned it earlier this month, and so did Hamline’s lacrosse team, as their school-record six-game winning streak came to an end last Saturday. While most teams mourn their losses, Hamline’s women’s lacrosse team directs their energy in preparing for their next game.

“If we get bogged down with individual player statistics, streaks or undefeated or any of that crap, we lose the purpose of this program,” Head Coach Karen Heggernes said. “The purpose of this program is to develop into a winning culture.”

An 8-15 loss to Concordia (WI) last Saturday ended Hamline’s school-record six-game winning streak. When asked about their winning streak, players were unaware that it was a new record for Hamline’s lacrosse team.

“Honestly, I don’t even think the team knew we were setting the record,” senior defender Rachael Foster said. “We never talk about [statistics], we just focus on being a successful team that works well together.”

The Pipers knew the game against Concordia would be competitive. Both teams entered the match having previously defeated Wartburg, Cornell and Loras.

“We were very excited to play a competitive game just as we were when we played [Illinois Tech] and lost by one,” senior midfielder Lindsey Jackman said. “We were very excited to play a close game like that.”

The game began with the Falcon’s sophomore midfielder and attacker Lauren Paquin gaining control of the ball. Cradling the ball down the field, Paquin scored just 11 seconds into the game.

After a lot of back on forth and another score for Concordia, junior attacker Dana Almquist scored the first point for the Pipers assisted by first-year midfielder Brayden Maass. Immediately after, a draw control by Maass lead to another goal by Almquist, tying the game at 2-2.

“We have had a lot of injuries [in the midfield unit],” Jackman said. “ We had to have attackers such as Katie Pearson step up and fill those roles. At first, she was really scared but she has gotten knock downs on [defense] and around the whole field.”

Hamline scored again to take a short-lived lead of 3-2, but three Concordia goals pushed them to a 4-5 lead over Hamline. Junior attacker Katie Pearson was right in the action after Hamline fought back. Jackman threw the ball to Pearson after getting draw control. Falcons first-year midfielder Nicole DeMeo caused Pearson to turnover the ball.

Several turnovers on each side led up to first-year attacker Radian Lenz picking up a ground ball and shooting it into Concordia’s net. Lenz tied the score at 5-5.

The Pipers continued to shoot at Concordia’s net and finally broke through with another goal by Almquist that put the Pipers in the lead at 6-5. The Falcons fought back yet again and scored the final three goals of the first half to take a 6-8 lead into halftime.

“We do have a long term vision of improving over the season and as a program. We want to be a good model for women’s lacrosse in Minnesota as it’s still a growing sport,” Foster said. “We all obviously love the sport and want to be successful and prove that Hamline deserves to be a varsity sport.”

In the second period, first-year attacker Dani Perry immediately fired back with a goal assisted by first-year midfielder Sydney Dynneson, bringing the score to 7-8. Not wanting the Pipers to get ahead, Concordia struck back with four goals in six minutes, and that 7-8 score would be as close as the Pipers would get the rest of the game.

Dynneson fought back by scoring a goal for Hamline to make the score 8-12, but the Falcons remained in control the rest of the game and Hamline was unable to score for the final 17 minutes of the game.

“I appreciate any fans that come out to a game. If anyone wants to come and learn about the sport of lacrosse, I will sit down and teach it to you. It’s not a complicated sport but for the first-time observer it looks a little strange,” Heggernes said. “Our fan support is really appreciated.”

The Pipers play again Apr. 18 against Augsburg in Minneapolis, Minn., with an expected game time of 7:00 p.m. The team returns home to Klas Field on Apr. 22 and 23 for games against Beloit and Southwestern. Game times for those matchups are expected to be 12:00 p.m. and 10:30 a.m., respectively.