Looking forward to lacrosse season

Hamline’s women’s lacrosse team is looking to continue being a powerhouse in the Midwest Women’s Lacrosse Conference (MWLC) in their upcoming 2022 season.

Cathryn Salis, sports editor

The Pipers debrief during their season opener against UW Eau-Claire on February 26. (Cole Brennan)

As of 2016, the women’s lacrosse team at Hamline has been recognized by the NCAA as a DIII competition rather than a club sport, and the players are not planning letting this recognition go to waste. The 22 athletes compose one of the most consistently successful teams on Hamline’s roster.

Head Coach Karen Heggernes has been with Hamline’s lacrosse team for seven years and has never not pushed her athletes to the next level of play.

We have the goal to represent Hamline University as the Midwest Women’s Lacrosse Conference Champions for the 5th time in a row. We also have some big non-conference games that will increase our strength of schedule while also help us prepare for the next level in post season play,” Heggernes said in an email interview.

The lacrosse team joined the MWLC in 2017 and has made it to the championships every year. In the 2021 season, Hamline stands were packed to watch the women defeat Northwestern for the MWLC title at home. 

Our team’s goal this season is to go to the NCAA tournament and continue our streak of heading to the next level. We always want to continue to play our best game with every opportunity we have open to us,” sophomore attack Emma Moe said in an email interview.

Often called “America’s first sport”, lacrosse has a long history in Minnesota, but the recent increase of teams competing in the MWLC and NCAA has helped to honor this history and keep the sport alive. 

Competition is not the only benefit of playing for Hamline’s lacrosse team. Being a part of a community like the Pipers have on the field has long-lasting benefits.

We learn a ton of life skills of working as a team towards a goal. What sacrifice it takes to achieve your goals. Balance of health, academics, athletics, work and a social life. Creating lifelong memories and meaningful relationships. Learning what supporting others entails while also balancing personal well-being. Conflict management and working together with many different personalities. The list goes on and on,” Heggernes said.

Athletics also give players the opportunity to be very involved in the Hamline community. Moe is reaping the benefits of having played on the team for a year already. 

Hamline Athletics is hosting a number of focus groups to promote inclusion in the athletics community. “[T]his programming also stems from mentorship from David Everett in Inclusive
Excellence. The program is in its beginning stages, and hopefully becomes something that continues!” said Pierce in an email.
No sign-up is required and all sessions are open to all Hamline students.
“Last year, I was a freshman on the team, and I played attack. I served on an ‘appreciation committee’ chair with my teammate Tara DeLeo to help prepare the team on game days, such as writing motivating notes and creating our Game Day hair ties. At the end of the season, I was awarded “Freshman Player of the Year” and was voted on SAAC last year by the team, which now I serve as a lacrosse representative and student activities chair,” Moe said.

The pressure is building as the Pipers are looking into their 2022 season, but the team feels prepared and ready to take on any competition that comes their way. 

“We have been preparing for this spring season all year. In the fall, we did captain’s practices, full team practices, 6 am weight room lifting, and played a couple of games with nearby teams such as Northwestern, Augsburg, and River-Falls,” Moe said.

The Pipers fell in their first game against UW-Eau Claire on February 26 but are hoping to see a shift in the momentum on Wednesday in their first home game against Northwestern.