Adelphi throttles GVSU lacrosse 17-3

Lakers struggle to keep pace with No. 2 Panthers

By Adam Knorr | 2/22/14 11:35pm

The members of the Grand Valley State University women’s lacrosse team knew what they got themselves into when they scheduled No. 2 Adelphi University for their third game of the 2014 campaign.

GVSU, which lost to Adelphi last season, found that the tough matchup was even more challenging as the Lakers were unable to play the game on its home turf due to weather issues. The contest was moved to Detroit Country Day High School in Beverly Hills, Mich.

Things went from bad to worse for the Lakers when Adelphi jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. GVSU senior Meagan Emery netted her second goal of the season shortly thereafter to cut the Panther lead to two, but Adelphi proved to be worthy of its prestigious rank by scoring the next eight goals in succession.

The scoreboard showed 17-3 in favor of the visitors when the final whistle blew.

“At moments we played really well,” GVSU head coach Alicia Groveston said. “We made some errors that gave them good chances. You work really hard to get the ball, and it’s tough to squander those opportunities.

“You can’t make mistakes like we did against a team like this.”

Turnovers plagued the Lakers as they struggled to maintain offensive-zone possessions against the talented Panther squad. Shots were few and far between for GVSU, although it found ways to convert with the few chances it had.

Junior midfielder Rachel Leibovitz scored the second goal for GVSU, while freshman midfielder Ryan Skomial tallied the third for her team-leading sixth goal of the season.

The Panthers held a gaping advantage in shots throughout the game. They ultimately tested freshman goalkeeper Sarah Zwilsky 31 times in just her third career start, while the Lakers mustered just eight shots on Adelphi keeper Taylor Hayes.

“(Adelphi) is extremely fast and explosive. All of the shooters can just shoot the lights out,” Groveston said. “(Zwilsky) made some big saves and got some great experience.”

GVSU dropped two of its first three games this season after winning 11 straight to end the 2013 campaign. This spring promises a startling amount of competition, as both losses came against top-25 teams.

The stiff rivalries are nothing new for the Lakers.

The team also opened its season against top-tier opponents last year, and after starting the season with a sub-.500 record, it dominated play in the GLIAC due in part to its intense early-season schedule.

“It really helps us for the GLIAC because we’re learning a lot about ourselves,” Emery said. “We don’t start off the season with a weak schedule, and playing these tough games is pushing us to our limits.”

The team will have some time to recuperate and plan its attack going forward, as it will not play again until it heads to the East Coast for two games in three days as part of the annual spring break trip.

GVSU (1-2) will square off against Merrimack College (Mass.) on March 6 and Saint Anselm College (N.H.) on March 8.

“They’re definitely not going to be easy games,” said junior defender Ashley Stoltenberg. “We’re going to have to bring it on from the first whistle. We definitely have the potential to win both, we just have to play our game.”

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