Playoffs on the line: Northern Michigan University lacrosse team needs win this week for chance at GLIAC playoffs

Northern Michigan University’s Graison Ringlever, center, scores her sixth goal of the game against Concordia-St. Paul on this drive up the middle in the second half of their GLIAC women’s lacrosse game played at the Superior Dome in Marquette last Wednesday. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Up next: No. 12 Indianapolis at NMU, Superior Dome, 7 p.m. Thursday; Ashland at NMU, Superior Dome, 11 a.m. Saturday

—————–

MARQUETTE — The women’s lacrosse team of Northern Michigan University will complete its regular season at home this week with a pair of GLIAC games in the Superior Dome.

The Wildcats host Indianapolis at 7 p.m. Thursday before facing Ashland at 11 a.m. Saturday for Senior Day.

While NMU (3-10 overall, 2-7 GLIAC) faces a tall task playing first-place Indy, the Ashland match may determine who earns the final GLIAC playoff position. Ashland, in its first year of lacrosse, holds down the last tournament spot with the Wildcats a game behind.

Fans can follow the team in several ways online, including @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter throughout the week.

For both matches, video is available at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/nmu/.

Live statistics from Thursday’s action are available at http://nmuwildcats.com/sports/wlax/2018-19/boxscores/20190418_yoqt.xml and for Saturday’s game at http://nmuwildcats.com/sports/wlax/2018-19/boxscores/20190420_5k4x.xml.

Prior to Saturday’s contest, the team will honor its four seniors — Megan Palacio of Cumberland, Rhode Island, Tori Aidif of Grandville, Amanda Robers of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and Casey Marshall of Appleton, Wisconsin.

Each were members of the NMU club team before Wildcats’ lacrosse became a varsity sport three years ago. The group has appeared in 120 games with 70 ground balls, 28 draw controls and have caused 17 turnovers.

The Wildcats are coming off a stretch of three GLIAC games in five days last week, including a 20-11 home loss to Concordia-St. Paul last Wednesday, a 21-3 setback at No. 22 Grand Valley State on Friday and a 16-3 loss at Davenport on Sunday.

Junior Graison Ringlever became the first Northern player to reach 100 points in her collegiate career when she was credited with an assist on NMU’s first goal against Concordia-St. Paul.

She is up to 108 career points on 94 goals and 14 assists, meaning she needs six goals this week to become the first Northern player with 100 goals. So far this season, she has a team-high 33 goals along with five assists for 38 points.

NMU freshman goalkeeper Cam Stilson is sixth in NCAA Division II and tops in the league with 146 saves this season. Her 11.23 saves per game is 12th in the country.

The Wildcats leads the conference with 42 free-position goals as Ringlever leads the way with 15, almost twice as many as any other player in the GLIAC.

Freshman Jessica Daniels has scored six goals on free-position attempts while close behind with five are sophomore Ellie Bahr and freshmen Aleya Speas and Emily Renfrew.

GLIAC leader Indy (13-1, 9-0) has won all three previous games against NMU and enters this week ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division II. The Greyhounds are on an 11-game win streak.

Ashland, in its first season of lacrosse, plays NMU for the first time Saturday. The Eagles (4-7, 3-5) face Concordia-St. Paul on Thursday before heading to Marquette.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.