GV dominates Butler in regular season opener

Sophomore Michael Garner runs up the field during Saturdays match against Butler. The Lakers won 27-2

Eric Coulter

Sophomore Michael Garner runs up the field during Saturday’s match against Butler. The Lakers won 27-2

Kevin VanAntwerpen

Grand Valley State University men’s lacrosse head coach Tim Murray attributed a crushing 27-2 first-game-of-the-season victory on Saturday against Butler University to pure enthusiasm from his players.

“We’ve got some great players that take pride in the way they play this game,” Murray said. “They came out with their hair on fire and they just wanted to play – we’ve been playing against ourselves so long, that they were just excited to get out there and face someone in a different uniform.”

Offensive player Max Bielby agreed, adding that Butler was simply unprepared for the wall of adrenaline put out by the Lakers.

“We just came out way faster than they expected,” he said. “When you jump out and immediately go five-to-nothing on a team, it’s hard for them to regroup and slow you down.”

The biggest challenge of the match, according to Bielby, was maintaining a level of discipline and aggression midway through the game.

“The thing about a game like this is when your score goes up big, it’s tough to stay in it,” he said. “You get relaxed and feel like you don’t have to work as hard. But we made the adjustments. If we’re going to make the kind of run we want to in the postseason, we’ve got to stay disciplined.”

But Murray, who oversaw the game from the sidelines in a pinstripe suit and purple bow-tie, is not one to miss the little details that could’ve affected the game. While he said he was highly impressed with his team’s performance, he also added that some changes were in store.

“The best part about this type of game is I still think there are a lot of ways we can improve,” he said. “It’s pretty encouraging when you can put out the type of energy that we did and still leave room to improve.”

Murray noted that he’d like to improve the communication between his offense and defense to allow them to take advantage of every opportunity presented to them.

“We really just didn’t capitalize on all the situations that we should’ve, even if the score doesn’t reflect that,” he said. “But I’m really splitting hairs at this point. In a game like this, there’s more positive than negative.”

Defensive player Jacob Seiler praised his offensive teammates, noting that they had especially strong performances.

“We were on defense probably an eighth of the game,” Seiler said. “[The defense] really didn’t have to work that much. The offensive guys – especially the second and third string guys – were amazing.”

Seiler said that despite the large margin of victory, the team still has a lot of work to do if they want to maintain their forward momentum through the rest of the season, but they have no intention of slowing down.

“We’re definitely expecting to have to up our game against some of these teams in the future,” he said. “We’re not letting up in our practice or training.”

[email protected]