By Cody Boyer
The Northern Michigan club lacrosse team played three games over the weekend, losing the first against the Aquinas Saints on Friday, defeating the Oshkosh Titans and then losing against UW-Whitewater on Saturday.
Junior attackman Kingsley Agassi said UW-Whitewater came well-prepared but was impressed with his club’s drive.
“[Whitewater] was pretty well organized,” Agassi said. “Both teams played really well, and we had lots of great effort, but we just couldn’t get the goals in the end that we needed to pull ahead.”
Coming off of a 17-5 loss against the Aquinas Saints, the Wildcats started strong against Oshkosh with a 2-0 lead by the end of the first period and a 3-0 lead at the beginning of the second.
The Titans did not give up, as they came back to score with 8:15 left in the half. NMU pushed back for another point, bringing the score to 4-1 with 4:07 remaining in the second period.
With only seven seconds left in the half, Oshkosh answered the Wildcats’ goal, bringing the score to 4-2 at the halfway mark.
“The team has a lot of fast, new players,” said Jason Cassens, senior midfielder and NMU lacrosse club president. “We started really quick and held as our team has a lot of quick, young players.”
The Wildcats finished off the last half of the game with a well-balanced third period with no points between either team. Freshman attackman Elliot Karafa scored at 11:37.
Senior Jameson Redden, long-stick middy, ran in the last NMU point, putting the ‘Cats up 6-2 with 7:11 left in the game. The Titans pushed back late with two more goals.
Head coach Kevin Sande said the game was a welcome change for the Wildcats off of the 5-3 loss against the Saints.
“I’m really impressed with the team,” Sande said. “They were flowing really well and working the ball really well, especially after yesterday. It was good to see that the guys could still come out and still give it their all and finish the game with a win.”
NMU is made up mostly of younger players this season and many factors went into their win on Saturday, including senior crease Mike Glenn, who led in hits with six.
Scorers for the game were Karasha and Agassi with two points each, and freshman attackman Sean Costello and Redden with one point each.
After the second game on Saturday against Whitewater, Agassi said there were good things going on with the team as well as things to improve on amongst the squad.
“Especially coming off the weekend’s losses, we’re still really proud,” Agassi said. “We are not fazed by losses because we know that we have it in us to win.”
Agassi said the team chemistry is great, and they are putting the losses behind them already.
“We know not to take it too hard,” Agassi said. “We need to take each game as they come and people will up the intensity.”
NMU’s next game is against Davenport at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 in Pontiac, Mich.
“I feel like we are prepared,” Sande said. “We work hard every time. Everyone shows up because they want to play the game.”