Sundstrom, GVSU men’s lacrosse down Dayton 14-9

GVL / Courtesy - Murrary Sports Photography
Lucas Gerard on Saturday March 25, 2017.

GVL / Courtesy – Murrary Sports Photography Lucas Gerard on Saturday March 25, 2017.

Brady McAtamney

The No. 3 Grand Valley State men’s club lacrosse team defeated the No. 5 Dayton Flyers by a score of 14-9 Saturday, March 25, at Rockford High School in Rockford, Michigan. The Lakers improved to 4-1 while the Flyers fell to 6-2.

Senior attacker Erick Sundstrom spearheaded the offensive attack for the Lakers, netting six goals and dishing out two assists. Sophomore Jacob Parry and senior Lucas Gerard were Sundstrom’s partners in crime, with Parry handing out four assists and scoring one goal and Gerard scoring two and assisting one goal. Five other Lakers scored one goal each. Senior Kyrn Stoddard made 14 saves while allowing only the nine goals.

“I think that we were very unselfish on the offensive end. We had a lot of good looks,” said head coach Tim Murray. “Obviously (Sundstrom) was the beneficiary of the way we played and we kept it hot, kept it moving and they would lose our players on the offensive end and that’s what we excel at, is finishing inside.”

Coming into the game, the Flyers had one of the stingiest defenses in the league and their resume showed exactly that. They came in allowing only four goals per game and had never allowed more than five in a single game in 2017.

GVSU not only nearly tripled that number, but also had Sundstrom score six himself.

“Sunny’s an amazing player and it’s nice playing with him because you can always count on him,” Parry said. “He’s a great leader. You can always count on him that when you feed him the ball he’ll always finish.”

The Lakers started the game hot, opening up a 3-0 lead in the first quarter and limiting Dayton to a mere minute of possession time in the quarter. For GVSU, putting the Flyers in an early hole was critical as Dayton relies heavily on their defense to complement their slow and deliberate offense. Holding the early advantage forced Dayton to rush themselves later on, which caused mistakes and led to Laker goals.

“We took control of the possession time, so they didn’t really have the ball all that much and they couldn’t score,” Parry said. “Our defense held them in check for all four quarters so they couldn’t get anything going on offense and combine that with us shooting the ball at such a good percentage led to the victory.”

With Dayton being one of the top ten ranked teams on GVSU’s schedule, the Lakers are delighted with taking home yet another signature win.

“It’s good because it’s really an indicator of what we do well and what we need to improve on, but that’s what our season is,” Murray said. “We have a series of big games and each of our 10 regular season games is against a ranked opponent. We can’t afford to have an off day. The reason we put together a schedule like this is to prepare us for the offseason. We’re going to work and learn from it and we’re going to make ourselves better.”

The Lakers face a grueling slate coming off the victory as they will travel to South Barrington, Illinois to play three games in three days against top ten teams.

Starting Friday, March 31, GVSU will face off with the top ranked St. Thomas Tommies at 12:30 p.m. The following afternoon will see the Lakers take on the No. 4 North Dakota State Bisons at 1 p.m. before finally wrapping up the weekend Sunday, April 2, at 9:30 a.m. against the No. 8 St. Johns Red Storm.