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Hilcoff planned for the lacrosse team to ‘hit the ground running’

Aralynn Minnick // Asst. Photo Editor

Hanna Hilcoff ready to make a move against Gardner Webb on Feb. 22.

The Tiger sat down with leading scorer Hanna Hilcoff to talk about her historic season as part of the inaugural Clemson lacrosse team.

Anne Marie Lessig (AML): So how can you describe that first big win that Clemson had over Duke earlier this season?

Hanna Hilcoff (HH): I think like the whole team can collectively agree we’ve worked so hard in the fall, not only on the field with conditioning, strength and just lacrosse but off the field is equally as important. It felt like all of that had finally paid off after that Duke one. But at the same time, it felt like just the beginning of what we’re capable of doing.

AML: How did coach Kwolek affect your decision to play at Clemson, and is the culture at Clemson different from Oregon?

HH: I said (to coach Kwolek), listen, I have two more years left of eligibility. And yes, I want to build a program, but I want to be a part of something great, talented and competitive. I don’t just want to come in and be bottom of the ACC, like let’s hit the ground running. And she was absolutely on the same page as me. I feel like our energies matched very well. 

AML: You were the quickest player at Oregon to reach 100 goals in school history. Has that dominant scoring in the past helped you with your season at Clemson?

HH: I think bringing that over to Clemson, it really helped me establish my role on this team and where I can be most beneficial for the team in order for our success. Keeping up that same energy, same competitive drive, on attack, wanting to score goals. It’s been even easier at Clemson now because I’m surrounded by so many talented players. And I really do owe it all to my teammates, helping me reach the 50 goals this season. 

AML: Was there a role as a leader that you and the upperclassmen had to assume because this was a new team and not many of you have played on the same team?

HH: Yeah, absolutely. I think with 19 of us as transfers, give or take, some of us did play for the same programs, but I mean, there are 19 different cultures that you’re bringing to a new team. We can all pick out the best parts of ourselves in our past teams and our cultures and bring them to the freshmen.

AML: Now that the regular season is over, what is the mindset for the team, especially having to play UNC, as the No. 3 seed in the ACC Tournament.

HH: It’s a second chance against a great team to just show the ACC what we’ve been working on and show the lacrosse world. We’re hoping to make it far into the ACC Tournament, hopeful for an NCAA bid and we just think having a first-year program automatically getting a bid into the ACC Tournament is really special to us.

Interview responses were edited for length and clarity.

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Anne Marie Lessig
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