GVSU lacrosse drops two nonconference games

GVL/Mackenzie Bush - GVSU Women’s Lacrosse falls to Lindenwood Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Mackenzie Bush

GVL/Mackenzie Bush – GVSU Women’s Lacrosse falls to Lindenwood Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Brady McAtamney

The No. 16 Grand Valley State women’s lacrosse team dropped two games over the weekend to No. 2 Lindenwood and No. 7 Rollins by scores of 14-6 and 16-10. The Lakers’ record now sits at 1-6 on the season going into conference play.

Lindenwood, a classic lacrosse rival of GVSU, rolled into Allendale Thursday, March 23, for the Lakers’ 2017 home opener. The 8-0 Lions started hot on the cold afternoon with three straight goals, but the Lakers quickly responded with three of their own.

The two teams traded goals for the next several minutes and GVSU was within one goal until the 11-minute mark of the first half when the Lions scored nine of the last 12 goals—including six in a row—to seal the game and spoil the home opener.

Freshman midfielder Abbi O’Neal scored two goals in her Allendale debut while junior Meghan Datema added two of her own in the loss. Additionally, junior goalkeeper Brianna DeMilia located eight saves while allowing only four goals in one half of action.

Head coach Alicia Groveston felt as though her players did not always take and execute the opportunities to score when they were there, among other issues.

“Unfortunately we turned the ball over in transition, especially at the start at the second half which was silly. That’s stuff we can’t do,” Groveston said. “More importantly, we had multiple opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net and do what we needed to do.”

Despite the loss, O’Neal felt as though the Lakers came out of the game a better team than they were going into it and appreciated the experience the whole squad gained from the bout.

“I think that we are slowly but surely making our way. We had a little bit of a rough start in the beginning, but coming out and playing Lindenwood, that’s the kind of game that we want,” O’Neal said. “That’s the kind of game where there’s a chance that we’re going to lose but there’s also a chance that we’re going to win. We’re going to get there. Even if we lose, they’re making us better. Teams like that are making us better.”

Following the loss to the Lions, the Lakers packed their bags and headed to Sparks, Maryland to do battle with the 10-2 Rollins Tars Sunday, March 26.

Again, things went well for GVSU out of the gate, answering two goals the Tars used to open the game with three of their own. GVSU led 5-4 with eight minutes left in the game and would have gone into the half, but RC scored a goal with eight seconds left.

The second half would again go awry for the Lakers, as the Tars outscored GVSU nine to four in the final 30 minutes.

Freshman midfielder Sarah Stagaard netted a trifecta of goals while senior Kira Dosenberry added two of her own. Five Lakers each scored one goal each.

Following Thursday’s game against Lindenwood, Groveston stressed how she wanted her team to “show up” against Rollins. Despite what the scorebook read, she was mostly pleased with her team’s effort.

“Yes (they showed up). I can’t say that they didn’t because the first half was overall pretty good. It’s just the fact that we’re turning the ball over at inopportune times,” Groveston said. “We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot. Yes, I do think they showed up, I just don’t think we played consistently enough to win.”

Despite the 1-6 record on the Lakers’ résumé, they are still confident in their ability to continue their run of dominance at the GLIAC level. GVSU played one of the most strenuous nonconference schedules in Division II, having played five top ten ranked teams and seven total ranked opponents. All but one of those games were away.

“I’m feeling great. I don’t want to say we own our conference, but we do well and we have a lot of confidence. I think we’ll be able to shine as we always do,” Dosenberry said.

The fresh start begins Saturday, April 1, when the Lakers travel to Indianapolis to take on the 6-1 Greyhounds. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.