The women’s lacrosse team hurdled another obstacle on their way to a national championship.
They triumphed over Northeastern University 23-6 Wednesday morning in Colorado Springs. A thunderstorm the started with their game made a separate battle within itself, causing both teams to wrestle with the bone-chilling rain as well as each other.
“The rain was definitely the hardest part,” CSU coach Lindsey Hudek said. “It’s hard to play well and fast when you are so cold and wet.”
Still, the Rams came out on top in a big way, sending them to the quarterfinals for the WCLA championships. Last season, the Rams suffered a devastating loss to UC Davis in the finals, so the closer CSU gets to avenging that loss, the more excited the team gets.
“We had a great first round game against Northeastern,” senior captain Sarah Langlie said. “The first few minutes, we were a little flustered, but once we got on our game, it all fell into place. We were 100 percent determined to make a statement.”
For Langlie and the rest of the seniors, it is the last chance for national success, something each of them has tasted their freshman and sophomore seasons. Last year was hard on all of them, so they are pushing their younger, inexperienced players to get that same hunger for a trophy.
But with this uber-competitive, undefeated team, there isn’t much prodding to be done. The underclassmen are all on the same page, looking to send their seniors out in a big way, as well as gaining self-gratification.
The festivities continued for the Rams Tuesday evening, at the WCLA Awards ceremony. CSU had two players named 2nd team All-American, Sarah Moyer and Karly Slyne, before Langlie, Garcia, Hayley Bernstein, Ali Slyne, and Abby Wattenbarger were named to first team.
In addition to their first team bids, Garcia was named attack player of the year, and Bernstein was named player of the year.
“It’s ours to lose right now,” Bernstein said of the championship back in April. “If we get beat, it’s not going to be because of another team. It’s going to be because we lost it ourselves.”
Bernstein was also named preseason player of the year, but she clearly hasn’t lost her focus.
By any standards, those honors could cap of a fantastic career for graduating seniors, but the Rams are lucky enough to be able to continue their amazing run.
They will take on the winner of the game between No. 8 Pittsburgh and No. 9 USC on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
“We’ve been getting nervous this week, but we realize they are just more games for us, nothing to over think,” Langlie says. “As long as we have fun and play with each other, nothing can stop us.”
Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter Cali Rastrelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org