Lacrosse coach finds positives in 2 losses

Lacrosse Coach Sam Koenig said he has seen substantial improvement from his student-athletes throughout the course of the season.

photo by Natalie Droeske

This weekend, despite lopsided losses against Augsburg and Hamline, on paper they put up a fight. When the Duhawks traveled up to Minnesota this weekend they had high hopes to show that their wins haven’t been flukes.

First playing the Augsburg College Auggies, the Duhawks came out ready to fight. The first goal for the Duhawks came from sophomore Sarah James after the Auggies came in with their goal.

Then the Duhawks went on a dry spell, giving up seven straight goals until first-year Olivia Flynn came up with her first of two goals at the 10:46 minute mark. The Duhawks scored two more goals in 20 seconds, one from Flynn and the other from senior Brittany Miller. This made the Auggies step up their game and made the halftime score 13-4. Loras scored two goals in the sec0nd half, with senior Anna Schwalbe and junior Sarah Hanson each finding paydirt.  The Duhawks ended the game 19-6.

Sunday the Duhawks faced Hamline University Pipers. The Pipers came out strong and ready to play by dominating the first half in all aspects. They had 19 shots on goal and scored eight shots from them, making it 8-0. The Duhawks, still flustered from the day before, didn’t get their first goal until Hanson scored at 17:50 minute mark in the second half. Soon to follow was Schwalbe with her 27th and 28th goals of the season. The Duhawks started getting back into their rhythm, but it was too late and the lost the game 13-3.

Although these two games don’t show dominance they have had this season, this weekend made their record 5-6.

“We are doing the right things in spirit. We need to play a full 60 minutes of doing all the little things. When we are able to play as a collective unit for 60 minutes, we will catch our stride,” Koenig said.

Injuries have plagued the Duhawks this season, from a handful of concussions to knee injuries.  However, this has made them stronger moving forward with players stepping into different roles.

“I don’t think we have had a practice or game that we have had a full squad this year,” said Koenig. “This has helped to develop every player on the team. I think this has been an advantage, but we hope to be at full strength soon.”

The Duhawks have had a great season thus far, but it is far from over. Moving forward, the team needs to block out distractions and keep focused on what’s important. Even with the injuries this season, it has allowed players like Flynn, Schwalbe, Hanson, and others stand out. But this game isn’t about individuals, it’s about the team.

“Each player in our program has an important role, and we will look to everyone to step up to maximize their output for the team. We play as a family and when we play as one unit doing all the little things, we are a team that is hard to beat,” said Koenig.

The team has strides to make to be number one, but they have both outstanding elements as well as improvements to make.

“We have a great transition game and our ride pressure may be the best in conference,” Koenig. “It is exciting to see our ladies playing with heart and passion to win the game. We continue to improve our game awareness and that will help decide winning and losing in the upcoming games.”

The Duhawks next home game is Thursday, April 13 over spring break.

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