Youthful Laxers ready to jump-start program

Freshman+midfielder%2Fattacker+Tess+Kostelec+%28Columbia%2C+Maryland%29+leads+the+ball+forward+in+Saturday%E2%80%99s+exhibition+loss+against+Albion+College.+Kostelec+assisted+on+a+goal+and+registered+one+shot.Photo+by%3A+Neil+Flavin

Freshman midfielder/attacker Tess Kostelec (Columbia, Maryland) leads the ball forward in Saturday’s exhibition loss against Albion College. Kostelec assisted on a goal and registered one shot.Photo by: Neil Flavin

Levi Erkkila

The Northern Michigan University Women’s Lacrosse team opened up their second season in program history Saturday. They hosted Albion College (AC) Britons in an exhibition matchup at The Superior Dome. The Wildcats lost 16-13.

Last year in their inaugural season of Lacrosse at NMU, the team finished with an overall record of (2-13) and a record of (0-7) in the GLIAC.

The Wildcats lost quite a bit last year, but saw a lot of room for improvement. They brought good competition, even if the scores didn’t reflect it. With nine freshman this year, the team has a lot to look forward to in the future.

“There are a lot of fresh, new players which is really nice,” senior defender Danielle Grzeskowiak said.

The game started out with Albion scoring first but was quickly answered by freshman attacker Emily Dvorak. Sophomore midfielder Graison Ringlever then scored on a free position shot to move NMU ahead 2-1. The Britons tied it, but Ringlever scored again and assisted on a goal by freshman attacker Casey Heintzelman to put NMU on top 4-2.

After another AC goal, freshman midfielder Bianca Kinder made it 5-3 with 16 minutes left in the first half, scoring on a pass from sophomore attacker Angelica Bogden. Several minutes later, Albion added two goals to tie the game 5-5. Kinder scored again, but Albion answered to tie it at six. Not long after, Dvorak set up both Kinder and Ringlever to take the lead and an 8-6 advantage heading into halftime.
To start the second half, the Britons scored three goals to take a lead. A nice pass from freshman attacker Tess Kostelec put Ringlever in position to score. She tied the game at nine with just over 20 minutes left to play. The Britons responded by going on another streak, scoring three-straight goals once again to go ahead 12-9 with 14 minutes to play.

Ringlever scored back-to-back goals, getting help from junior midfielder Megan Palacio on the second goal to make it 12-11. The teams then traded goals, with Ringlever scoring for NMU to make it 13-12 with 7:17 to go. Over the next three minutes, Albion went on yet another three-goal binge to go up 16-12. Dvorak found Kinder for her fourth goal of the game, but it wasn’t enough as NMU fell 16-13.

“We want to be a close-knit team, it reflects on the field and we will play better,” said Grzeskowiak. “We are a good team, everyone seems to like each other. We are all getting along and we have fun together.”
The Wildcats lost the ground ball battle throughout the game, 29-19, as well as committing more turnovers, Northern having 23 to Albion’s 18. The ’Cats got beat on the shot count 36-27 but they controlled the draws 18-13.

Ringlever scored seven goals and added an assist to lead NMU. She also led the team with nine draw controls.

“Ringlever played last year, she is really good, she’s going to be one of our top scorers,” Grzeskowiak said.

Kinder chipped in with four goals. Grzeskowiak led the team with four ground balls and caused two turnovers. In goal, freshman goalkeeper Emily Karbaum made 18 stops in her debut with the Wildcats.

The Wildcats kick off the start of their regular season on Sunday, Feb. 25 against Wheeling Jesuit University at Detroit Country Day High School in Beverly Hills, Michigan.