There is a fine line between being cocky and being confident. Just ask the CSU women’s lacrosse team. They have been riding it all season.
Undefeated and still ranked No. 1, the Rams head to Utah this weekend to take on Westminster, Utah State and BYU.
As they arrive for practice on Wednesday afternoon, they don’t look or sound like the nation’s number one team. They look like a bunch of girls who have a lot of fun together, with hardly any cares in the world.
But a hard, excited glint enters captain Sarah Langlie’s eyes at the mention of their undefeated record.
“It’s cool to be undefeated, but it keeps us on our toes,” she said. “It makes us work harder because we know that teams are after us.”
Last weekend, the Rams underlined their status as No. 1, beating No. 3 Michigan and No. 2 Georgia handily.
But CSU coach Lindsey Hudek is not about to let her team get complacent. BYU is another formidable opponent who would love to put a loss on the Ram’s record.
“Every game is the exact same. We have to play hard,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what the opponent is doing; we have to play with our brains on.”
The Rams open the weekend against Westminster, who made the transfer from WCLA Division II to WCLA Division I this year after winning the Division II championship last season.
“What makes me nervous is that they used to be Division II, so we never really considered them competition,” Hudek said. “I’m nervous that we won’t think of them as strong as they actually are.”
Langlie shares her coach’s caution, and spreads that to the rest of her team through her leadership. She views their previous success as fuel for the future, not a place to sit back and rest on.
“We just know that every game is a new game, we don’t take anything for granted,” she said. “I think now that we are on this run, it just gives us more motivation to continue it and go all of the way undefeated.”
Both Langlie’s message, and her view of the team as a family have extended into the fresh crop of new players on the team.
Freshman midfielder Kristin Layo is just enjoying the ride of starting for an undefeated team. Something she didn’t get to experience in high school.
“It’s really exciting playing with people above my level,” she said. “It makes me grow as a player. The older girls were really good about including us and letting us get to know them really well.”
Between their tight-knit friendships, the talented roster and their dedication to see every game equally, the Rams are paving the roads to have another fantastic season.
“We’ve never really been a numbers team anyway,” Langlie said. “But I’m confident in my players and my team that we can just play state lacrosse and come away with a win.”
Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter Cali Rastrelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.