GVSU lacrosse splits spring break slate

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

Brady McAtamney

Spring break is often seen by college students as a time of relaxation and few responsibilities. Whether it involves soaking up the sun or visiting family back home, few students grind over the week-long pause.

Some who do, however, are the Grand Valley State lacrosse players, who went out twice over break to take on two top-level teams and ended up splitting the games.

In their first game against No. 19 Bentley on March 8, the No. 11 Lakers put up nine first-period goals to take a comfortable lead into the break. GVSU held on to its early cushion, expanding its lead up to five goals at times. Roughly seven minutes into the second half, Bentley scored back-to-back goals within 50 seconds of each other to make the lead uncomfortably close at two.

The nets went uninterrupted for five minutes until GVSU’s Ryan Skomial netted her third goal of the game. Nine minutes later, Chelsey Bishop scored to bring the lead back up to a safe margin of four.

Bentley would not give up. The Falcons again scored twice in a row to bring the lead back to two with just over four minutes to play. Sarah Zwilsky made two big saves in the final moments to clinch the victory by a score of 13-11 in Waltham, Massachusetts.

“(The win) definitely feels really good,” Skomial said. “It’s a good boost of confidence. I think we could’ve played a bit better, but it did feel nice.

“I think we all really worked hard. We wanted it. Some things needed to be cleaned up or perfected. We all just worked really hard and hustled.”

GVSU head coach Alicia Groveston was happy with the win, but knew that things would need to be cleaned up if the Lakers were going to beat the next club on their schedule.

“We have to be smarter with the ball,” she said. “Read the game and make the best decision for what is happening at the time. We overall must play better to compete at the highest levels. This was a good test for us and something we needed to see before Le Moyne this weekend.”

Things didn’t go as planned during the second match of break, as the Lakers dropped a 14-11 decision to No. 2 Le Moyne in Syracuse, New York.

The game was hotly contested, as the two teams traded goals early. Le Moyne pulled away, however, and held a lead for the final 50 minutes. The Lakers made it close toward the end of the second period with goals from Carlyn Shisler and Kira Dosenberry, but were unable to capitalize and allowed one more shot to strike twine from a Le Moyne participant before the final buzzer.

Despite the result, Groveston was not disappointed with the way her team performed. She felt her team played calmly and did not rush or force things.

“Overall I think it was a positive (game) for our program,” she said.

The Lakers are now 2-3 — a record they have held every year since 2013. GVSU can now focus on GLIAC play, in which the program has never lost a game. The conference season begins on March 24 when McKendree will make its way to Allendale.