On Tuesday, the CSU women’s lacrosse team will travel to Virginia Beach to take on the University of Santa Barbara in the women’s lacrosse national championship tournament in search of defending its 2013 crown.
After undergoing a season that was filled with both triumph and struggle, the Rams have come together to pull off a winning record (10-6) and land the No. 7 seed in the national tournament.
“We definitely have been improving a lot,” attacker Ali Slyne said. “Nationals will be tough. But, I think we will deal really well with it since we’ve been improving a lot and a lot of people on the team have really stepped up.”
After struggling to find a solid identity at the beginning of the regular season, CSU has since incorporated seven new players into the lineup.
“We’re all just really happy that we even made it to nationals,” Slyne said. “So we’re just going into it with a really positive and supportive attitude with each other and just to really have fun with it.”
The Rams will meet the Gauchos in the first round, a team they have already beaten once this season after coming away with a victory in their Feb. 15 matchup. However, CSU knows that mistakes can always be made that can lead to a loss.
“I think the only way we could lose that game is if we lose against ourselves,” attacker Kayla Fertman said. “So we just need to come together as a team to win that game. We’ve beaten them already this season, so we can do it again.”
If they reach the second round of the tournament, the Rams will take on a much more challenging University of Florida team, which the Rams have lost to twice this season.
“I believe the Gators will definitely be our toughest game,” Slyne said. “We played them twice during the year and we lost both times, but we have stepped our game up a lot, so I think we will be able to beat them.”
Regardless of the outcome this season holds for the CSU women’s lacrosse team, 2014 is already deemed a success simply for the obstacles overcome and the team unity found, according to the players.
“We definitely pulled it together throughout the course of this season, and it will really be rewarding to see how we all come together in this tournament and just see the progress that we have made,” Fertman said. “We believe that we will hit our peak at the right time and I think that will be at nationals which will be really amazing.”
Collegian Reporter Hannah Cornish can be reached at sports @collegian.com and on Twitter at @HMcornish.