W Lacrosse: Wildcats take 1-1 split in conference play, Augsburg U. next


Dallas Wiertella/NW

WELL RESTED – The ‘Cats will have a week off before heading to Minneapolis to face off against the Auggies.

Chris Anderson

The Wildcats traveled to lower Michigan last weekend as they resumed conference play against Grand Valley State. NMU showed some signs of improvement against one of the top teams in the region but ultimately the Lakers won the matchup 16-8. Senior Minnie Bittell made six goals for the ‘Cats as the rest of the team was unable to consistently find the back of the net.

“We really want to get closer and closer until we are always competitive with them, but there’s a couple of stat lines that will show the significant holes we have where we aren’t quite matching up,” Head Coach Lindsey LeMay said.

With the loss to Grand Valley, the Wildcats headed to Grand Rapids in hopes of getting a win against the Davenport team. The Panthers have given NMU a lot of trouble in the recent past, winning eight out of nine previous matchups.

“I was impressed with how well we stuck to our game plan there,” LeMay said. “We had switched our offense from last week to this week of going into what we want to do for the rest of the year.”

The Wildcats came away with a 15-5 win over Davenport with four players scoring three goals each for the ‘Cats, and senior Natalie McGinnis added three assists. NMU dominated the entire match, holding the Panthers to one goal in the second half and out shooting them 41-18 for the night.

“It was a huge risk to switch to that type of offense this late in the season,” LeMay said. “And they looked at me and were like, ‘No coach, we don’t want to go back into that motion. We’re going to do this right.’ So, I’m proud of them for doing that.”

With the GLIAC conference having four teams for lacrosse, the teams play each other back-to-back fairly close near the end of the season. The switch to a new offense will give NMU a small advantage in the upcoming weeks as teams have scouted the old offense used by the ‘Cats for the first half of the season.

“It was really important for our team to be able to step up and just dominate the way that they did in that game,” LeMay said. “We executed what we wanted to. We weren’t afraid the way we traditionally have been when we faced Davenport.”

NMU gets a small break after being on the road for a few weeks before heading to Minneapolis to face off against Augsburg University, a DIII program looking to face some tough competition. The ‘Cats will wrap up their seven-game road trip with a visit to Concordia-St. Paul before heading home for the end of the season.