GVSU’s women's lacrosse season ends after loss in the second round of the GLIAC tournament
The Grand Valley State women’s lacrosse team faced two teams during the recent GLIAC tournament in hopes of moving forward to the NCAA tournament. GVSU won their first game against McKendree University before losing their second against the University of Indianapolis.
Heading into the GLIAC tournament, the lacrosse team and their head coach, Mackenzie Lawler, were satisfied with the way that they had played this season. The Lakers had an overall record of 14-4 and a conference record of 10-1, landing them in the second seat in the GLIAC conference before postseason.
“I’m really proud of how the team did," Lawler said. "We graduated eleven seniors last year and there were a lot of roles that had to be filled. It was great to see them fill their roles and excel in them to bring us into the GLIAC championship.”
The Lakers prepared for the upcoming matchups in the tournament by focusing on the sport itself and keeping sights set on the single game to come. The team knew that they had to center their attention on the game to come in order to make it to the championship.
“For us, the girls were done with finals the week before the tournament, so it was nice to get all that stress off of their backs and have them really be able to prepare and focus on just lacrosse,” Lawler said. “We focused on the first game and then the second. Some teams focus on the championship games, but we focused on just one game at a time.”
GVSU had a quick start in tournament play against the McKendree Bearcats. The team scored the first goal in less than three minutes, which was answered by the Bearcats tying the score at 1-1.
The Lakers then went on a ten-point lead and eventually ended the first half at 13-3, as they then continued on to score eight more goals after half while also managing to keep McKendree in single digits. With the final score of 21-6, the Lakers moved on to the second round in the GLIAC tournament to play against the Indianapolis Greyhounds.
The second and final round of the tournament was held Sunday, May 5, with the Lakers facing off against the Greyhounds to see who would move onto the NCAA tournament. GVSU once again faced the only team that had beat them during conference play in an overtime nail-biter.
The second half started with Indianapolis in the lead 11-8, which then turned into a six point deficit for the Lakers as the Greyhounds went on to make the score 14-8. The Lakers had not given up however -- they scored the six goals needed to tie the game at 14-14.
From then on both teams went back and forth, scoring one goal after another, forcing the matchup to go into overtime at 17-17, before Indianapolis would score the tie-breaking goal to win the game.
The Greyhounds gained an edge on the Lakers with their quickdraws and early possessions, which turned out to be the key difference between winning or losing this game, Lawler said.
“With draw controls, Indianapolis is one of the best in the country,” Lawler said. “They had so many possessions and that really makes a difference when playing, especially when it comes to an overtime game where every possession counts.”
The season is now over for the Lakers, but they aren't discouraged; they are excited to move forward to the next season and focus their energy on improving their speed of play.
“I think for us we just need to be able to start and play a little faster,” Lawler said. “ We did a lot of system changes this year with the new coaching this year, which took up a lot of time. Now, into the next season, we will be able to focus on other things.”