Lacrosse falls to No. 8 ranked Dowling

GVL/Bo Anderson

Caitlin Wojichowski

GVL/Bo Anderson Caitlin Wojichowski

Adam Knorr

Despite a quick start and another strong offensive effort by senior Allyson Fritts, the Grand Valley State University women’s lacrosse team couldn’t hold off the unrelenting attack of the Dowling College Golden Lions on Sunday afternoon.

Sophomore attacker Victoria Devine gave the Lakers a 1-0 lead within the first minute of the game, but Dowling responded by scoring seven unanswered goals to claim a lead they would never let go, winning the match 20-9.

The game took place 12 days after GVSU’s last game, and a week after the Seton Hill’s women’s lacrosse team’s fatal bus accident.

“The situation last week gave us a better outlook on how to play hard,” said sophomore midfielder Alyssa Neumen. “It showed us not to take playing this game for granted.”

While the loss may look bad on the scoreboard, the Lakers are able to hang their hats on a hard-working effort that they can build on.

Dowling, ranked eighth in the nation, is located in Long Island, N.Y., centered in the east coast hotspot for lacrosse. The Lakers played a hard-fought game, trying to showcase their style of midwest lacrosse.

“If felt like we had nothing to lose,” Fritts said. “We really wanted to show that even though we’re from Michigan, we know how to play lacrosse.”

The Lakers scrapped until the end of the game, but the hard-nosed lacrosse wasn’t enough to keep GVSU in the game, as little mistakes accumulated quickly to form an insurmountable 13-5 halftime deficit.

GVSU played a much stronger second half, playing the game under more control and displaying a more skilled style of play, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Dowling.

The Lakers didn’t see any reason to use their layoff as an excuse.

“Practice is like a game,” Fritts said. “We prepare ourselves enough in practice for a game. Our coach does a great job of motivating us.”

The Golden Eagles improved to 5-1 with the win, while the Lakers fell to 2-3 on a game in which GVSU displayed encouraging effort, but yet fell victim to a disappointing outcome.

“We played hard, and the game was closer than the score indicated,” said head coach Alicia Groveston. “Our little mistakes were blatant, but we knew we were always in it. We never gave up.”

The 2013 season hasn’t gone how the Lakers envisioned it up to this point, as GVSU was ranked #1 in the GLIAC preseason poll. While the Lakers have yet to play a conference matchup, they have been unable to settle into a groove, as GVSU is yet to string together consecutive wins this year.

The Lakers know that the important GLIAC games are yet to come, but the importance of staying motivated for non-conference games is key.

“We’re not afraid to call each other out in practice,” Fritts said. “We try to push each other as hard as we can every time on the field.”

The Lakers will look to get back on track Tuesday night at Adelphi (N.Y.) University.
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