Women’s lacrosse above .500 after first GLIAC victory


Courtesy / GVSU Athletics

Zoë Murphy, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University women’s lacrosse made the trip to Minnesota to battle Concordia St. Paul last week, winning 17-10 and adding the fifth win to the Lakers’ record just past the halfway point of the regular season (5-4).

With this being the first test in conference action, Head Coach Mackenzie Lawler said she told her players to come out with intensity from the start in order to walk away with a win.

“It’s our first conference game; I think that this game sets the tone for (more) conference play coming up,” Lawler said. “We have two other conference games this week and I think it would be great to get a win to start strong but also know that those other games are going to be competitive and those teams have gotten a lot better over the years.”

Having the right balance of confidence was of utmost importance to the Lakers going into their  first conference game March 24, with familiar veterans setting the tone for their team to add another tally to the win column.

Fifth-year senior Maggie Hammer echoed the thoughts of her coach, mentioning that although she and her teammates are confident, injuries and other unforeseen circumstances can add to the extensive list of challenges any team has to face throughout the course of a season.

“I’m feeling really good,” Hammer said. “I think this year overall has had a lot of challenges, with injuries and such, but I’m really excited for this match in particular because I know we’re going to do well.”

The first quarter consisted of the Lakers following the exact game plan Lawler mentioned as the team went into the second quarter with a 5-1 lead and no signs of slowing down. GVSU wouldn’t let their foot off the gas for the next 15 minutes with the team extending their lead to 11-4 going into the halftime break.

GVSU saw their typical list of players adding to the scoreboard with senior Molly Bursinger leading the pack with three goals, but another notable Laker amongst the heavy list was junior Hailey Crittenden with two goals at the half and an assist.

An offensive barrage would continue for the Lakers as their defense would allow just one goal scored in the third quarter, separating the teams by 10 goals (15-5) with just 15 minutes left in the match. 

However, the comfortable lead created a brief mindset of complacency for the Lakers as their guard was let up just enough to let the Bears outscore them 2-5 and closing the final gap to 17-10 in favor of GVSU. 

No matter how dominant the team might have played, moments like this are what Lawler takes notice of and harps on going forward in the season in order to avoid unnecessary mistakes, and even losses.

“Our shooting percentage got pretty sloppy in the second half,” Lawler said. “We did a great job in the first half but just missed some easy opportunities in the second.”

At the same time, the NCAA rules require a “running clock” situation, meaning if a team is leading by 10 points or more, the game clock must continue running (outside of timeouts made by a team) regardless of the game being in the first or second half – something Lawler believes contributed to the Lakers falling back a bit on their intensity on both ends of the pitch.

Outside of the victory, Hammer commented on the fact that the team will likely have tough days ahead in order to secure more victories as the team has already lost three starters this season due to ACL tears. Hammer believes that the team has adjusted well thus far with hopes to accomplish their goals they set during the preseason.

Bursinger finished with a game-high five goals, followed by three from Crittenden and two apiece from junior Maddy Champagne, sophomore Zoe Ziegler and freshman Ella Boose. Graduate student Maggie Hammer, senior Kate DeYoung and sophomore Ellie Bernard also added one goal each to the final score.

GVSU will play Davenport University (March 28) on the road and host Northern Michigan (March 31) at home for the Morgan’s Message Game starting at 5 p.m.