GVSU falls to Lindenwood in home opener

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
Erika Neuman

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Erika Neuman

Nick DeMaagd

Taking on No. 3 Lindenwood, the Grand Valley State women’s lacrosse team sought to claim its first win at home this season.

Battling frigid temperatures and a tough offense in Allendale, the Lakers were unable to come out on top. While the 14-5 loss put the GVSU’s overall record to 3-4 on the season, the team held its own for much of the first half, tethering the score to 8-3 in favor of Lindenwood at the half.

Early on, GVSU responded to Lindenwood’s increasing offensive pressure with an aggressive attack of its own. Sophomore midfielder Ryan Skomial helped GVSU make it a 1-1 game by setting up senior attack Zoe Stiemann for her 10th goal of the season.

The four subsequent goals came from sophomore midfielder Erika Neumen, with assists coming from Brooke Ingraham (one) and Skomial (three), but it wasn’t enough. Despite outshooting their opponent, the Lakers struggled with putting their shots away.

“We need to work on the placement of our shots,” Neumen said. “We knew we were down and tried to force singles. It needs to come naturally.”

Possession time hindered GVSU’s chances of playing its game. The Lakers were able to win more draw controls (13) and gain more free-position shots (seven), but couldn’t capitalize.

For Laker coach Alicia Groveston, missed connections and an abundance of Lindenwood possessions kept GVSU from catching up.

“We picked and chose our moments in the beginning and we were in a good spot going into the half,” Groveston said. “I think when they got two quick ones in the second half, it took the wind out of our sails.”

Lindenwood’s ability to exert constant pressure on GVSU’s defense took its toll. Senior midfielder Alyssa Neumen said the breakdown in communication hurt GVSU the most.

“We let it get in our head and we lost some confidence,” Alyssa Neumen said. “As a defensive unit we need to push the offense more, and better, and let them execute.”

Despite woes on both sides of the ball, Groveston said she was happy with the team’s overall performance. She said the team has the potential to beat such higher ranked teams, but it comes down to staying focused.

The Lakers will have little time for reprieve as they look to defend their home turf against Fort Lewis on Thursday at 7 p.m.