GVSU men’s lax falls in MCLA tournament

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
#2 Connor Montgomery

GVL/Kevin Sielaff #2 Connor Montgomery

Mason Tronsor

After finishing 9-5 and winning the Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association tournament, the Grand Valley State men’s club lacrosse team watched its season end abruptly after suffering a 10-9 overtime loss to Western Washington in the first round of the 2015 Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association national tournament.

“When that OT goal went in against us, personally I was in shock,” said Erick Sundstrom, sophomore attacker. “Nobody wants their season to end like that, but unfortunately it did for us.”

GVSU started the game off strong, scoring four unanswered goals against Western Washington. The Vikings were able to grab some momentum late in the quarter, however, answering with three consecutive goals.

The Lakers led 4-3 after the first quarter thanks to goal contributions from Sundstrom and senior Zack Grusell.

Western Washington owned the second and third quarters. The fifth-seeded Lakers could not get anything going, as Western Washington controlled the game. The Vikings led 9-7 after three quarters of play.

“Western Washington made some adjustments to their offense after the first quarter,” said Connor Montgomery, sophomore long stick middle. “Their defense stood very strong as well as the game went on.”

Trailing entering the fourth quarter, GVSU didn’t go down without a fight.

Grusell started the surge with a goal early in the quarter. With the score 9-8 in favor of Western Washington late in the game, GVSU’s defense stood strong, led by sophomore goalie Kyrn Stoddard, who made a couple of clutch saves to keep the game in reach.

With one minute and 12 seconds left in the game, sophomore midfielder Alec Bain scored the game-tying goal. Bain’s first goal of the game was the last in regulation as the Lakers forced overtime.

In the overtime session, both teams fought and scrapped. With two minutes left in the overtime period, Western Washington attacker Jordan Foster scored his first goal of the game. The Vikings secured the victory and moved on, while GVSU’s season came to a sudden end at UC Irvine Field in Irvine, California.

“It was a tough loss to swallow,” said junior Kevin Stephen, team co-captain. “They never gave up and we hurt ourselves in the end.”

The season might be over and done, but the players and coaches for GVSU have high hopes for the future.

“After the game we came up with a little motto for next season,” Stephen said. “Minor setbacks, but major comebacks.”