GVSU's Bishop sits fourth in single season assists

Junior midfielder has dished out 24 assists in 10 games this season

By Brady McAtamney | 4/13/16 11:57pm

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GVL / Kevin Sielaff – Chelsey Bishop (10) runs onto the field as the starting line-up is announced. The Lakers defeat the Greyhounds of the University of Indianapolis Saturday, March 26, 2016 with a final score of 15-4.

by Kevin Sielaff / Grand Valley Lanthorn

In modern sports, scorers are beloved and typically have quicker rises to superstardom. Consider the likes of Steph Curry, Alex Ovechkin and Buddy Hield—players who light up the scoreboard and are rewarded with love and adoration from fans from across the world.

Now, what if these scorers had nobody to set them up for their scoring opportunities? It is almost a given they would see their scoring totals decrease dramatically. This simply goes to show that the players who see less limelight than the sweethearts of the sport are sometimes just as, if not more, important than the superstars themselves.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL / Kevin Sielaff – Chelsey Bishop (10) moves the ball in on McKendree's net and looks to pass. The Lakers defeat the Bearcats of McKendree University with a final score of 23-11 Friday, March 25, 2016 in Allendale.

Grand Valley State junior Chelsey Bishop possess the prototypical mindset and physical tools of a key sidekick, as she currently sits in fourth place in Laker lacrosse history with 24 assists so far this season. Though she's stuffing the stat sheet, it's only Bishop's first season as a starter for GVSU.

“Coming in out of high school I played every game and never sat on the bench, and I didn’t know what it was like. It was an eye-opener realizing that (college) is nothing like high school and it takes much more hard work,” Bishop said. “It was a shocker when I didn’t get to see the field much and it motivated me to work hard on and off the field, and show my coach that I deserved to see the field, and I finally got there.”

In fact, before this season, Bishop, a midfielder, only had three assists combined in her first two seasons, pointing to the drastic improvements she has made in her game. That does not mean she is done improving, however. Teammate and main recipient of Bishop’s dimes, Erika Neumen, believes that Bishop could become a serious scoring force as well.

“I would personally love to see her drive the cage more," Neumen said. "I think she is a very strong player and I think if she drove the cage more, the defenders would respect her a lot more than they already do. I’d love to see her get some more goals on her record.”

So far, her 24 assists are accompanied by only two goals. GVSU head coach Alicia Groveston and Neumen both agree that Bishop’s natural talent for threading the needle and her immense speed could serve her well as far as getting opportunities for herself to get the ball to strike twine.

For now, though, Bishop figures to continue dropping dimes and making her teammates better, though Groveston believes the relationship between Bishop and her recipients goes both ways.

“I think you have to have people who know that they’ll catch the ball and that people will make a good feed," Groveston said. "You’ll take a good chance when you know someone will make a good catch, and on the flip side you’ll make a different cut because you know they’ll get you the ball, so they make each other better.”

Bishop’s 24 assists have come in the team’s first 10 games, with 15 of them coming in the last three matchups. She currently sits 19 assists away from Sarah Lowe’s record of 43 assists with seven regular season games to go, plus possible GLIAC and NCAA tournament matches.

Much to the Lakers’ pleasure and the competition’s demise, it’s looking like the first-year starter might continue rewriting the record book.

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