GVSU lacrosse team signs nine new recruits


Courtesy of GVSU Athletics

Holly Bihlman, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University women’s lacrosse team has had a season no different than any other college sports team in 2020. Despite the circumstances every GVSU team has faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, the lacrosse team has been finding ways to up their game and bond with each other during the hiatus. Head coach Mackenzie Lawler is excited to bring nine new girls to the team next year in leu of the large group of graduating girls this year. She hopes that the new influx of player next season will make up for lost time. The girls have been training together in a socially distanced format to maintain their fitness and improve on the basics of lacrosse. 

“We started the semester doing some small group work that was non-contact and really just focusing on the fundamentals,” Lawler said. “I think was great for our freshman to kind of help them ease into college lacrosse.”

With nine new freshmen joining the team last year, the girls have had a huge opportunity to get to know the sport even better and bring their best game to the coming season. Looking ahead, the new recruits for the 2021-2022 season are attackers Elizabeth Bernard, Chloe Dunham, and Brooke Wathen; defenders Isabella DeRiges, Sema Hasanof, and Karleigh Rothe; midfielders Ashleigh Rothe and Zoe Zeigler, and goalkeeper Kaylyn Cater. All of the girls are finishing up their senior year in high school at the moment, but they’ve already started to forming a bond with the team since signing day. 

“I think we’re just really excited about the level of athleticism,” Lawler said. “We’re looking to play a little bit of a faster style and bring in some new team concepts with that type of speed. Having that top to bottom type of class is just going to be really important for being able to execute that.”

After last season’s unfortunate cancellation for all spring sports, the lacrosse team fell short of their chance to bring home a GLIAC trophy. However, with new recruits and future COVID-free season coming up, they’re feeling ready to prove their determination. The women’s lacrosse team has one goal, to win a GLIAC championship.  

The freshman in the coming season will have the benefit of playing with a highly-trained group of upperclassman after this year and with a group of girls that have already had the chance to get to know each other. 

“Off the field they were a really fun group to recruit because of how early they connected with each other, even before some of them were committed,” Lawler said. “This year we actually did a movie night out on the field. Everybody had made a vision board of what they’re hopes were for the season, what they’re goals were and we were trying to learn a little bit more about them and their family.”

Lawler said their adaptation to the beginning of the year festivities is probably going to become a new tradition, considering their annual barbeque became trickier with social distancing guidelines. With the beginning of this season setting some new precedents and inspiring a few new traditions, the girls on the team will welcome the new recruits with sidewalk chalk in Laker Village and continue the movie night and vision board presentation. 

“We have them hung up over everyone’s locker,” Lawler said. “It’s made our locker room a little homier. Some girls were really funny in their responses, others were more motivational, and I think it just really allowed them to kind of showcase their personality.”

There is no doubt after this year all student athletes will be itching to get back out into the competitive world of college sports, and the lacrosse team is no different as they prepare to build a new team to bring GVSU a GLIAC title.