Women’s lacrosse finishes 1-1 during road trip to start season


Courtesy / GVSU Athletics

Breanna Hammer, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University women’s lacrosse traveled to Florida this past weekend to face off against the Flagler Lions (14-12) and Rollins College (11-15) as the team split the road trip 1-1.

Senior attacker Kate DeYoung said the team was highly motivated going into the start of the season as the honors they received during the preseason added to their desire to win.

“Coming in with the highest national ranking (No. 5 in preseason poll) in GVSU program history has been a big part of our motivation,” DeYoung said. “Practicing against each other and being some of the best players in the country gives us the confidence to control the pace of games.”

Feb. 16 saw the Lakers come out with strong offensive control throughout the game against Flagler as four players contributed to the final score.

Junior attacker Maddy Champagne set the pace with the first goal of the match just 52 seconds into the first quarter. This goal would open the floodgates as a battle to stay out in front would ensue with Flagler finally able to knot up the score 1-1 several minutes later (6:23).

The tied scoreline wouldn’t last for more than a minute as graduate student midfielder Maggie Hammer scored 35 seconds later (5:57) to put the Lakers back on top, 2-1. Just under two minutes later, Flagler would tie the score at 2-2 to finish out the first quarter.

In the second, Flagler had a quick goal to take their first lead of the match, 2-3, but a huge surge by GVSU on both sides of the pitch saw the Lakers score six-unanswered goals (8-3) by the end of the quarter that was led by three players; Champagne (three), DeYoung (two) and junior midfielder Sydney Stone (one).

Three more goals throughout the third quarter (two by DeYoung, one by Stone) responded to the four goals scored by Flagler as the opponent attempted to regain control of the match heading into the final quarter, 11-7.

After DeYoung scored her final goal of the match, Flagler cut into the deficit with two-straight goals with 8:50 remaining in the match. However, the Lakers didn’t waiver and would ultimately put their opening match of the season to rest with a close victory, 14-12.

Leading the team with six goals, DeYoung said her time spent paying attention to the scouting report allowed her to find several openings on the goal.

“I knew going into the game that their low defense was lacking (and) this gave me a lot of opportunity to help lead our team to victory,” DeYoung said.

Champagne was the second-leading scorer (five goals) and said her motivation going into this match stemmed from the adversities she dealt with last season.

“After suffering back-to-back injuries and health issues, I wanted to start this season by returning stronger as a player and as a leader,” Champagne said. “Flagler was a well-rounded team, but with the help of my teammates, I was set for success in beginning my season strong.”

Coming off a strong win, GVSU faced tough competition against the No. 10 ranked Rollins College on Feb. 18 in their second of two road matches. 

Rollins would strike first on the scoreboard just over halfway into the first quarter (8:32), but Stone was quick to answer with a goal of her own (7:27) to tie up the match. Unfortunately for the Lakers, the next four goals scored were all awarded to Rollins, finishing the first quarter with a score of 1-5 and starting an offensive landslide for the remainder of the first half.

Scoring seven unanswered goals in a row opened up the box score by a wide margin for Rollins as GVSU scrambled to find a response on offense and defense. With 2:52 remaining in the half, Hammer was able to find the back of the net to add a second goal for the Lakers.

Another deflating goal by Rollins a minute and some change later would close out the half in favor of the opponent, 2-9.

Just as it seemed the match was out of sight, the Lakers stormed back with a 7-4 scoring run in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 9-13. However, the comeback would fall short as Rollins held GVSU to just two more goals scored to finish the match 11-15.

Champagne led the team with three goals as five other Lakers contributed to the tough loss; Hammer (two), senior midfielder Molly Bursinger (two), sophomore midfielder Ashleigh Rothe (two), junior midfielder Hailey Crittenden (one) and Stone (one).

The Lakers will take a week off as they prepare to continue their five-game stretch of road matches against Colorado Mesa and Regis University on March 3-5.