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Northern Michigan University lacrosse falls to McKendree, 17-11

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University opened its women’s lacrosse campaign strongly under new coach Lindsey LeMay but ultimately lost its season opener to McKendree 17-11 at the Superior Dome on Saturday.

The Wildcats opened strongly with seven goals as goalkeeper Cam Stilson posted seven saves to give the home team a 7-6 lead at halftime.

Freshman Amber Hope spurred NMU with a three-goal hat trick just in the first half, while sophomores Aleya Speas, Emily Renfrew and Jessica Daniels along with junior Ellie Bahr each had a first-half goal.

Bahr assisted on a Hope goal to get Northern’s scoring started just over two minutes in.

The Bearcats took control in the second half, outscoring NMU 11-4 as freshman Madeline Bittell scored twice and Speas and freshman Katelyn Mongold added one apiece as Stilson finished with 11 saves. But NMU still had an 11-10 lead with 13:48 left before McKendree rattled off seven unanswered goals to end the game.

The Wildcats remain at home for the rest of this month, hosting Lewis University at 7 p.m. Friday before a noon game Sunday against Quincy.

Northern then goes out on the road for most of March, playing six of its seven games away from the Superior Dome, its only home game on March 22 vs. Ashland.

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