Lacrosse: Wildcats, CSP to face off in first round of GLIAC tournament

Chris Anderson

The Wildcats ended their regular season with four straight wins and a loss to Grand Valley to finish with a 10-6 record, the best in program history. With the GLIAC being such a small conference for lacrosse, teams typically meet twice per season and NMU and Davenport have become a good rivalry.

“Davenport’s a tough team because they have a very unique team culture where they’re all just trying to out tough and outwork you and no matter what type of season they have they’ll always kind of show up for that, especially if they get a little bit of a chip on their shoulder,” Head Coach Lindsey LeMay said.

NMU won the last match against Davenport by 10 points in the 15-5 blowout a few weeks ago, so LeMay and the team were prepared for a physical match up. The Wildcats were ahead by one point leading into the fourth quarter and the Panthers’ play was keeping the ‘Cats from pulling away.

“To be able to show that we can, even if we start a little slow, eventually pull that out and be able to handle the team in the same way strategically that we did the previous time is going to be important,” LeMay said.

The team came up huge in the fourth quarter, putting up five goals and holding the Panthers to just one, giving NMU the 13-8 win. Kaitlyn Bridger led the team with three goals and an assist with seven other Wildcats also scoring.

NMU hosted the nationally ranked Lakers this weekend, and although the ‘Cats showed some improvement since their last meeting, Grand Valley State dominated with a 23-10 win over NMU. Minnie Bittell led the team in total points with two goals and three assists.

“While the pressure was what we wanted, and they followed my game plan, ultimately I think if we ended up playing them again this season, we’re going to have to switch some things with what we’re doing on the off-ball side,” LeMay said.

With the GLIAC tournament coming up this week in Allendale, NMU will be facing Concordia-St. Paul in the first round with a chance at the Lakers later in the tournament. This will be the third time NMU has faced off with the Golden Bears, with the ‘Cats taking the first two by a combined five points.

“I have no doubt that this is going to be a close competitive game, that we’re going to have to show up, play well and be the mature older team [so] that we are to be able to win again,” LeMay said.