Milestone evening: Northern Michigan University junior Graison Ringlever records 100th point in 20-11 lacrosse loss to Concordia-St. Paul
“I think she gets overlooked defensively for how much … she does.” — Emilia Ward, NMU head lacrosse coach, on Graison Ringlever after the junior picked up her 100th collegiate point Wednesday
MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University women’s lacrosse team had a chance to get revenge on Concordia-St. Paul Wednesday night after getting dealt a tough GLIAC defeat on the road Friday in Minnesota.
However, just like last time, a quick surge by the Golden Bears put CSP in control and it maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way to earn a 20-11 victory in another league contest at the Superior Dome.
Junior Graison Ringlever had five goals for the Wildcats and picked up her 100th career point.
“It was a similar situation on Friday night,” Wildcats head coach Emilia Ward said. “I think it’s a matter of we’re just thinking a lot when we’re shooting the ball right now.
“We got 29 shots, which for us should be enough for us to get 17 or 18 goals. I think we’re a little tight when we’re shooting and we’re overthinking where the goalie’s going. So it’s just about loosening that up.
“(The Golden Bears) shot the ball well, especially in the first half, and our keeper made more saves in the second half, which was great. I think the difference was just the shooting differential between the two teams.”
Play was fairly even through the first 15 minutes. CSP got on the board first when Alina Boyce beat NMU goalie Cam Stilson over her left shoulder with 23:08 remaining. But less than a minute later, the Wildcats answered when Bianca Kinder flung the ball past Golden Bears goalie Katie Lottsfeldt to tie the game. Ringlever got an assist on the goal, which was her 100th point.
“(Ringlever) had a great game,” Ward said. “She played really well both games against them, which was great to see. She’s been battling through a lot kind of early in the season and still was producing at a click that a lot of kids probably wouldn’t in the scenario she was in.
“It was nice to see her come out of that and push through and get to being the first player in program history to get to 100 points.
“Now she’s that much closer to 100 goals. I think she’s only two away now. For her, she’s definitely been the marquee builder of our program, so it’s nice to see her get to that spot.”
When asked what makes Ringlever such a quality player, Ward said that it’s all about her effort and how she gets her way to the net.
“She just works so hard on the field,” Ward said. “She’s relentless. Are there maybe players that are quicker than she is, or whose sticks are maybe a little better? Probably, but she’s going to make it work. She’s going to find a way to get to the cage.
“She does so many things on the draw circle and defensively for us. I think she gets overlooked defensively for how much … she does. She’s a special player for us and we’re lucky to get her for another year next year.”
The Wildcats (3-8, 2-5 GLIAC) grabbed their first lead about a minute later on a goal by Ringlever, who beat Lottsfeldt low. Then the Golden Bears retied it at 2-2 when Boyce tucked the ball past a sprawling Stilson with 17:50 left.
The Bears’ Maddie Hentges scored twice less than a minute apart to give CSP (8-4, 5-2) a two-goal lead.
Northern cut the deficit to one with 13:56 left on a free position shot by Jessica Daniels, but the Golden Bears got back-to-back goals from Hentges and Lex Seifert. After a Wildcats timeout following the Seifert tally, NMU got a goal back on a free position shot by Emily Renfrew, but three straight goals from CSP gave control to the Golden Bears.
The Wildcats picked up two more goals from Ringlever before halftime, the first on a break up the middle of the CSP zone, but still trailed the Golden Bears 12-6 at the break.
NMU scored in the opening minute of the second half on a shot by Ringlever and got four big saves from Stilson, including on a free attempt by Kaci Reid to keep the deficit manageable at five.
The teams traded goals with Northern’s coming from Renfrew, but then CSP caught fire again. The Golden Bears scored four unanswered goals to make it 17-8 with 13:41 remaining.
Ward praised Stilson for her efforts and said that it’s not easy being the only goalie on the Wildcats’ roster.
“At the end of the first half and start of the second half, she started to feel it a little bit,” Ward said. “She’s a freshman and she’s going with the ups and downs. She’s the only keeper and if a few goals go in, it’s up to her to get herself out of it. She did a nice job of that tonight and responding at halftime.”
The Wildcats got a goal from Tess Kostelec on a free shot with 12:02 left, Ringlever got her fifth of the game with 7:42 remaining and Ellie Bahr closed out Northern’s scoring with 1:43 left.
NMU heads to Grand Valley State on Friday night, then Davenport on Sunday morning.
Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is email@example.com.