LAX preps for first-ever home game

GVL / Robert Mathews
Freshman Sarah Lowe taking the ball up the field during the Lakers recent practice before their first home game.

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews Freshman Sarah Lowe taking the ball up the field during the Lakers recent practice before their first home game.

Jon Van Zytveld

With their first-ever home game on Friday, the Grand Valley State University women’s lacrosse team is putting in the practice time to be ready to continue the tradition of Laker athletic excellence.

“The GVSU community has been so supportive of us,” said GVSU head coach Alicia Groveston. “We just want to give back with this first home game. Playing in front of a home crowd is unbelievable; it will be a great moment for us.”

After a spring break debut in North Carolina that put the Lakers 1-3, the team is committed to improving for Friday’s game against Lindenwood University (4-2) and playing a strong game for their supporters.

“It’s been a learning experience so far,” said assistant coach Erika Walker. “Our team has had some growing pains in moving from high school games to the speed and physicality of college games.

“We’re looking to put together two complete halves and improve our chemistry for Friday.”

For the Lakers, Friday’s game is the culmination of several years of work, which recently resulted in the team’s institution as a varsity sport.

The men’s lacrosse team currently plays at a club level.

“We have been putting this together for two years now,” Groveston said. “Some of the players have worked so hard for this moment, it’s their time to shine, and it’s their time to show what they’ve done for the last few years.

“We just want to go out there and show everyone that we are here.”

With her team about to mark their first appearance playing at GVSU, freshman defender Alexia O’Connor, like her team mates, said she is excited and ready to show why her team deserved the varsity slot.

“Everyone is so excited for Friday,” she said. “I know a lot of parents will be there and it will be a great game. We all really love lacrosse and we want to go out there and play a good game for our supporters. We just have to keep up the intensity for the whole time.”

The Lakers are committed not only to a strong season, but also to the establishment of a strong and stable program that will bring success in future years.

“The girls that are here realize that we could have some great success, and that’s a great thing, but it does take time to build a program,” Groveston said. “We’re looking to build that foundation so that we can continually improve as a team and as a varsity program at GVSU.”

While the Lakers are aware of the high level of play that Lindenwood will bring to the game, the team remains confident in their ability and talent.

“We’re waiting for that moment when all the light-bulbs click, and we’re thinking that this first home game could be it,” Groveston said. “We know that we have the talent to win, it’s just putting everything together and getting all the pieces of the puzzle in the right spot. If we play to the best of our ability, there isn’t an opponent on our schedule that we can’t beat.”

The Lakers will hit the field for the team’s first home game, and first game in GVSU’s new South Complex, Friday at 4 p.m.

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