Haiden Widener, Campus Carrier Sports Editor
The women’s lacrosse team is hosting an SAA semi-final game this weekend for the first time in program history.
The tournament starts on Friday. With only six of the eight SAA teams making the tournament, the Vikings are ready to prove why they made the cut.
“I know since I’ve been at Berry this is the highest seed we’ve ever been at, and we just have so much talent this year,” senior Emily Richardson said.
Heading into the tournament, they are the second seed behind Rhodes College.
The last time the Vikings got this far within the conference tournament was in 2014, with a 13-9 loss to Centre.
Because of their high seed, the team earned a bye on Friday, automatically putting them into the semi-finals, where they will play the winner of the Sewanee-Oglethorpe game.
Earlier this season, the team beat Sewanee for the first time in five years. They also beat Oglethorpe 14-10 last weekend, so they are heading into the weekend with high hopes.
“I like our chances. We have one game to focus on instead of two,” Head Coach Shaun Williamson said. “And if we win, we get to play for a conference championship.”
Williamson predicts that they will be facing Sewanee on Sunday due to Oglethorpe’s record of 6-11, compared to Sewanee’s 13-4.
“We’ll go back and look at what we did against Sewanee the first time, and make sure we do those things well again,” Williamson said. “And really focus on the fact that they aren’t going to take us lightly.”
The players are ready for round two.
“I think it was nice beating Sewanee at Sewanee,” freshman Claire Voltarel said. “But it would feel a lot better just to beat them at home. It’s our turf, and we’re ready to show them again that we aren’t here to mess around.”
While the team struggled in the beginning of the season starting out at 3-7, since Spring Break their record has been 5-1, making their overall record 8-8, with a conference record of 5-2.
“I think our season has really been in two halves,” Williamson said. “The first half we struggled. We played a pretty tough non-conference schedule. But as the season unfolded we figured some things out and changed our focus a little bit, and I think that’s put us in the position that we are now.”
If the team wins their semi-final game on Sunday, they will advance to the championship game on April 30.
This game will most likely be against Rhodes, who is currently undefeated with a 16-0 overall record and 7-0 in conference.
The Vikings played Rhodes in their third game of the season, losing 18-4. But with their new-found team chemistry and confidence, they are ready to take them on again.
“We played them back in February, which is a long time ago for us,” Williamson said. “We’ve changed drastically as a team throughout the year. But Rhodes is very talented so its going to be a tough one.”
They set a program record of five conference wins during the regular season, with their win over Oglethorpe last weekend.
But the team is prepared for this weekend and has four seniors that are ready to battle to keep their season going.
“I haven’t been thinking that it could be my last game,” Richardson said. “I’m thinking that I’m ready to beat Sewanee again and keep going.”