GVSU lacrosse competes against top competition

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

Mason Tronsor

The Grand Valley State lacrosse team split its opening weekend series in Lakeland, Florida, upsetting No. 5 Florida Southern 10-7 on Feb. 18 before falling to No. 1 Adelphi 16-6 on Feb. 20.

“Overall, it was a productive weekend,” said GVSU head coach Alicia Groveston. “We had highs and lows. The nice thing is that we have been able to see positives and negatives to continue to improve upon.”

Early on, the Lakers trailed against the Moccasins of Florida Southern. The Mocs raced out to a 3-0 lead before the Lakers were able to battle back and cut the lead to one heading into halftime.

The second half was a different story. After falling behind 6-5, the Lakers scored five unanswered goals. All five goals were scored by five different Lakers. Juniors Erika Neumen and Danielle Tunnell, along with sophomore Meghan Datema, led the way for GVSU with two goals apiece.

“Going into the second half we knew the draw was crucial if we wanted to win the game,” Datema said. “We hustled all over the field and controlled the ball very well.”

An upset win like this one helps the GVSU program earn national respect. The Lakers hope to compete for national championships in the near future — and hope wins like this are just the beginning.

“Our coaches talked about how we needed to believe that we were good enough and that we can compete with top teams,” said senior defenseman Caitlin Wojichowski. “We made program history so this win means a lot for our program.”

The Lakers had little time to enjoy the sweet victory, as the defending Division II national champions awaited them on Feb. 21. Adelphi jumped out to a 7-0 lead against the Lakers and never looked back. Datema and junior Ryan Skomial led the way for GVSU with two goals apiece.

“Honestly, we beat ourselves today,” Groveston said. “Very uncharacteristic turnovers for us. We didn’t do a great job of possessing the ball and when we did we were more frantic than acting with purpose. We never really gained control of our composure.”

The loss showed that the Lakers still have work to do to solidify themselves as one of the nation’s top teams.

The Lakers face three more nationally ranked teams before GLIAC play. The non-conference schedule put together by the coaches should test how far this Laker team can go this season.

“We don’t have a lot of time to lick our wounds,” Groveston said. “We have to regroup and get ready for Lindenwood. My goal for this week is to get us ready to beat the No. 3-ranked team in the country.”

Groveston went on to say that the weekend was a great indication of what the team can do better and how much more consistent it needs to be to stay near the top of the Division II ranks.

GVSU will take on No. 3 Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri on Feb. 28.