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Freshman Ali Dixon (11) fighting to move the ball up the field.

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GVL / Archive Freshman Ali Dixon (11) fighting to move the ball up the field.

Bryce Derouin

Ups and downs are to be expected for a first-year program, and that has proven no different for the Grand Valley
State University women’s lacrosse team (6-6).

GVSU showed its potential in spurts over the weekend, losing to Lake Erie University (6-4) 13-12 on Friday, but the team managed to rally back on Saturday and defeat Tiffin University (1-10) 13-12.

“I think we played well at times and we turned it on in the second half,” said head coach Alicia Groveston. “I think we struggled to find our rhythm on Friday and it kind of carried over to the first half of the game Saturday.”

GVSU trailed Lake Erie 13-8 with 2:22 left in the game. Freshman Victoria Devine sparked the Lakers attempted comeback, scoring all four of her goals in the last two minutes. Devine tallied two assists in the game as well.

Lake Erie held a 31-27 shot advantage, as well as the ground ball margin 19-11. GVSU had a 18-10 draw advantage, but committed 21 turnovers.

“We came out strong, but we kind of got ourselves in a hole yesterday and we didn’t play like a team like we should have,” Devine said. “But then we came back in the second half and we had a lot more confidence on Saturday.”

GVSU got back on track to its winning ways on Saturday. The Lakers had to come back from a two-goal deficit at the half to defeat Tiffin, 13-12.

Freshman Brooke Ingraham led the Lakers with four goals and Devine added three goals of her own.

GVSU dominated the match statistically, holding a 34-20 edge in shots, and a 19-8 advantage in draws controlled.

“I’d say that both games started out slower and not as good as we hoped for,” said freshman Rachel Leibovitz. “We were able to finish better and bring it together to make some plays in the second game.”

GVSU’s resiliency and toughness has impressed their coach. The two comebacks over the weekend solidified how resilient this team is.

“We found some fight in our kids,” said Groveston. “They were able to turn it on at times. We do have some fight and we can put ourselves in situations to win.”

GVSU is 12 games into their inaugural 17-game season, and overall, the Lakers are pleased with the progress they have been able to make thus far this season. “We’re very happy with what we have seen as a collective whole,” Groveston said. “The start of the process from two years ago to now, has really come a long way. The biggest challenge for us now is to get them to mentally understand that they’re better than a first year program. We need to show people we have the capability of winning big games. I think next week will be a big opportunity for us to turn things around and really start moving forward again. We took a few steps back this weekend, but I think we are still working forward.

GVSU will next be in action when they host Indiana Technological University on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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