GVSU lacrosse opens conference season with win over UIndy
The Lakers won after starting the year 1-6
GVL / Kevin Sielaff - Meghan Datema (18) takes the first face off of the game. Grand Valley defeats Lake Erie College with a final score of 19-2 on Friday, April 29, 2016 in Allendale.
The Grand Valley State women’s lacrosse team defeated the Indianapolis Greyhounds 15-11 at Key Stadium in Indianapolis Saturday, April 1. The Lakers improved to 2-6 (1-0 GLIAC) while the Greyhounds fell to 6-3 (0-1 GLIAC).
Junior Meghan Datema and freshman Abbi O’Neal each scored four goals, leading the way for GVSU. Senior Ryan Skomial and sophomore Carly Shisler netted two each while three other Lakers scored one goal. Senior Kira Dosenberry had one of those goals along with four assists. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Zwilsky played 42:15 and allowed only five goals while making seven saves.
The Lakers opened the game with a pair of goals on either side of a UIndy goal, giving them an early 4-1 advantage. From there, each team mostly traded goals as GVSU took a 7-5 lead into the half.
Out of the break, each team scored a single goal before the Greyhounds scored five consecutive goals over a nine minute stretch to capture an 11-8 lead with 15 minutes left in the game. They would not score again as the Lakers closed the contest with seven straight goals, with three from O’Neal and Datema each in that span.
“(We played) inconsistently, but during the last six minutes the fire with which they played was something you wish you could bottle and sell,” said GVSU coach Alicia Groveston. “We started strong then we got a little complacent and got a little lazy on both ends and we allowed them back in it and we had to dig a little deeper, and this time we were able to (come back and win). It was a great step in the right direction and now they know they can overcome adversity.”
GVSU led the game in shots, shots on goal, ground balls, draw controls, saves, free position shots and managed fewer turnovers than they Greyhounds.
After losing six of their seven nonconference games, albeit all of them against ranked opponents, the conference season-opening win is enormous for the Lakers as far as getting their season back on track and building momentum to continue their winning ways.
“I think that this win definitely gave us a lot of momentum and we were aggressive, playing with fire,” Datema said. “When we were down we had it in our hearts that we were going to play hard and that we were going to come back. It gives us momentum going into conference.”
With freshman star O’Neal emerging out of a team hampered by untimely injuries, the rookie appreciates games like these where the entire team—not just the ones on the field—are locked in.
“I truly don’t think I could’ve gotten through the game without looking to the sideline and getting that motivation from them,” O’Neal said. “Ryan Skomial is a big motivation for me, Carly Shisler was big on the draws, Sarah Zwilsky in the goal, and Erika Neumen, even though she’s on the sideline, I look to her and she tells me what to do and always has a smile and that’s huge to me as a freshman to have the older girls to look up to.”
Though they made mistakes, allowed runs and did not play their hardest for 60 minutes, the Lakers know they made strides heading into conference play.
“(The win) makes us 1-0. Second season begins and we’re 1-0. We’re not focused on the 1-6 that came before this, we’re focused on what comes after this," Groveston said. "Our main focus is looking forward to the games after this. There’s no opportunity for error. It allows us to feel good about a step in the right direction.”
Second season—better known as conference play—continues for the Lakers when they hit the road for a pair of road matchups against the Findlay Oilers (5-5) Friday, April 7 at 4 p.m. and the Tiffin Dragons (6-3) Saturday, April 9 at 1 p.m.