SENIOR SPOTLIGHT — All five Wildcat seniors start in Saturday game against Concordia St. Paul.
SENIOR SPOTLIGHT — All five Wildcat seniors start in Saturday game against Concordia St. Paul.
Caden Sierra

WLAX defeats Concordia St. Paul, honors 5 graduating seniors

This past Saturday, the Northern Michigan women’s lacrosse team celebrated their five seniors in a win over Concordia University – St. Paul in a 21-12 decision. Senior Minnie Bittell was the stand out player with nine overall points in the game and six ground balls.

Caden Sierra

In the game, Bittell scored the first goal of the game within the beginning 90 seconds to kick start the points against GLIAC rival. The Bears were quick to answer back but due to the number of fouls, the ‘Cats were able to squeak two goals in to recover. NMU continued to pull away with goals from Sophomore Laine Stanton, Senior Kaitlyn Bridger, and Freshman Avery Lorinser. 

There was little back and forth between the teams in the second half. The Wildcats continued to increase their lead with three goals from Freshman Josie Lakosky in just the third quarter alone. The ‘Cats stayed full throttle until the end, Bridger finished the game with one final goal to make the score 21-12 over Concordia.

Caden Sierra

“In Concordia St. Paul it was just … I think the emotion got to us, so, we started a little slow in that game and just weren’t playing at our best. So, we needed– they needed –something pulled out of them, and luckily, I was able to do that,” said Head Coach Lindsey Majkrzak. 

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All five seniors had started in the game against the Bears. The ‘Cats celebrated their final home game of the season and paid special tribute to Minnie Bittell, Kaitlyn Bridger, Brigid Fornek, Clara Johnson and Jane Taylor each having their own accomplishments at NMU. 

In her career, Bittell has over 200 goals and nearly 300 total points, she’s expected to reach within the last three games. Bittell has 332 draw controls since 2020 for the Wildcats and has earned GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week honors three times just this season.

Midfielder Kaitlyn Bridger has 91 career goals and 116 total points. After the game against Concordia, Bridger reached 106 career draw controls. Both Bittell and Bridger have been First-Team All GLIAC selections in their careers. 

Goalkeeper Brigid Fornek transferred to NMU after the 2022 season and made their debut against Aquinas. Fornek has 13 Wildcat career saves and a current .464% SVV.

Attacker Clara Johnson has 31 career goals and 36 total points. Johnson has 38 career starts and has earned GLIAC Academic Excellence Team honors.

Finally, Attacker Jane Taylor has seven career points and 11 ground balls total. Taylor is another GLIAC Academic Excellence Team honoree. The Wildcats look ahead to play Davenport University and Grand Valley State University this weekend.

Caden Sierra

“The thing about having a tiny conference is that you get to know every team pretty well, and a lot of our conference has returning players as their best players– so it’s all people we’ve seen a lot, but this second time around I think it’s really crucial that we are better prepared than we were last time,” said Majkrzak. “I love our defenders. I think they do a great job. I think that when they’re properly prepared, they can overcome any sort of puzzle that they’re given to solve. It’s just about ‘can we give them the correct tools to solve the puzzle’ and I don’t think we did that last time.”

The ‘Cats travel to play GLIAC opponents Davenport on Friday, April 19 at 5 p.m. and Grand Valley on Sunday, April 21 at noon for the second time this season. NMU most recently fell to Grand Valley in a 17-6 decision and defeated Davenport in a 18-7 decision.

The Grand Valley State Lakers are currently ranked No. 8 nationally while the Davenport Panthers are unranked. The Wildcats only have three more regular season games before the GLIAC tournament starting Friday, May 3. 

After last weekend, the ‘Cats have received votes for a top 25 spot nationally, which is only feeding the fire to make it to the national tournament.

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