Club team falls to Dayton in WCLL tourney
The Grand Valley State University women’s club lacrosse team was 3-0. The spring season was just getting started, but the Lakers still had a lot to prove – both to themselves and others.
GVSU’s opponent in game four was Oakland University. The in-state rival Grizzlies traditionally field a strong squad, and the Lakers knew that it would be their toughest test yet.
Oakland beat GVSU 14-6. Yet, somehow, the Lakers turned their first loss of the season into a positive.
“That was the turning point,” sophomore Madison Dapprich said. “When we realized we could lose, but still gave 110 percent and know that’s all our coach and captains could ask for.
“We had our ups and downs like any team would, but we went through them as a team.”
The ups came around far more often than the downs in the 2014 campaign.
After the loss at Oakland dropped GVSU to 3-1 overall, the Lakers went on a tear, winning nine of their 10 remaining games to finish the regular season with a 12-2 record.
The Lakers quickly got used to life on the road, as 10 of their 14 regular season games were played away from home. When the team did get to play in Allendale, however, it took full advantage by winning all four home contests.
On April 19, the Lakers made the short trip over to Pontiac, Mich. for the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL) Division II playoffs. GVSU handled its first opponent, Grove City College, 8-7 to advance to the second round.
There, however, the season was cut short.
The Lakers ran into the University of Dayton and the storybook was abruptly closed. The Flyers took the game 20-7 to end GVSU’s season a few games too soon. Nonetheless, 2014 was a resounding success for the club.
“I couldn’t have been happier when walking off the field after the game,” said senior defender Kate Mitteer, a recent GVSU graduate. “We lost, but it was the most overjoying feeling to walk away knowing that we played our hearts out. We still had fun.”
The Lakers finished the season with a plethora of players receiving Division II awards.
Senior attacker Kara Hogan and junior goaltender Rachel Jurczyszyn earned First Team All-League awards while Dapprich and a pair of sophomores — midfielder Mackie Forgacs and defender Kayla Hinkle — were recognized for Second Team honors.
Dapprich also won the Division II Rookie of the Year award.
The team’s impressive season didn’t come as a surprise to the Lakers. In 2013, GVSU finished with a 10-5 record and head coach Dan Teskey saw his club’s potential to do big things going forward.
“Last season set the bar pretty high,” Teskey said. “We decided that we needed to build off what we learned last year. We focused on fundamentals and building off those and trying to do as best as we could with the previous experiences we had.”