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A lacrosse half-dozen: 6 freshmen to join Wildcats next year after this year’s club was working toward record win total before pandemic wiped out season

Northern Michigan University’s Emily Renfrew, left, breaks toward the goal as Indianapolis’ Riley McClure defends in the first half of their GLIAC lacrosse game played at the Superior Dome in Marquette on April 18, 2019. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

On the Net: For more on the NMU lacrosse program, visit the Wildcats official athletics website, www.nmuwildcats.com/sports/wlax/index

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MARQUETTE — The women’s lacrosse team at Northern Michigan University was only able to fit in five games during the late winter before its fourth season as a varsity squad was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But life still goes on for college athletes as Wildcats new head coach Lindsey LeMay will welcome six newcomers to the program that begins its 2021 season in February or March. LeMay was named the program’s second coach in August.

Her inaugural season went 2-3 through March 4 before a March 13 game at Upper Iowa was the first to be called off. In all, 10 games were canceled, not including any NMU may have played in the GLIAC and subsequent NCAA Division II tournaments.

Their early-season record indicates Northern was on its way to having its best season yet as the 2019 team set a high-water mark record-wise when it went 4-12. The Wildcats also qualified for the league tournament for the first time, losing at McKendree in the quarterfinals.

The 2020 team won two of three home matches, defeating Lewis 15-4 and Quincy 16-4 in late February while also losing its season opener on Feb. 15 to McKendree 17-11 in the Superior Dome.

NMU also fell 9-8 in double overtime at Colorado-Colorado Springs and 18-7 at Colorado Mesa in early March.

The game at Upper Iowa was to be the first of 10 consecutive GLIAC matches for Northern, with the regular season scheduled to end April 26 at home vs. Davenport.

This Wildcats team loses just two seniors, all-time leading scorer Graison Ringlever and Angelica Bogden, with the six freshmen coming in.

Here is a sketch of each newcomer:

Kaitlyn Bridger of Clarkston was a team captain the past two years at Clarkston High School and helped her team win a district championship as a sophomore and regional title as a junior.

Also named Clarkston’s most valuable player as a sophomore and junior, she also played for the Triumph and Detroit Coyotes lacrosse clubs.

Chloe Everson of Shakopee, Minnesota, received six varsity letters at Shakopee Senior High School in lacrosse and hockey. Also a member of the FROG Lacrosse club team, she received South Suburban all-conference honorable mention honors in high school lacrosse.

Clara Johnson of Champlin, Minnesota, earned Northwest Suburban Conference first team and all-section first team lacrosse honors in 2019 at Champlin Park High School as she earned four letters in lacrosse and two in tennis.

Also a 2019 winner of her team’s Rebel Award for Dedication, she was her team captain this spring. During the offseason, she played for the Minnesota Yeti club team.

Hilda Nuutinen of Hudson, Wisconsin, earned all-state recognition in lacrosse at Hudson Senior High School as she also played varsity tennis. She played for the Minnesota Lakers Select lacrosse club team, too.

Maddie Phillips of downstate Hartland played lacrosse and field hockey at Hartland High School. She was a member of the Triumph club team, too.

Jane Taylor of South Lyon in the metro Detroit area was a decorated player for the South Lyon High School lacrosse team and also in weightlifting.

Also a high school basketball and volleyball player, in lacrosse she was a four-year varsity member and earned rookie of the year honors as a freshman and Defensive MVP as a junior. Twice she was named all-conference and twice her team won conference titles while she also played for the Triumph, Cyclones and South Lyon Pumas club teams.

In weightlifting, she is the Michigan state record holder in the U.S. Powerlifting Association for the girls 16-17-year-old group at 75 kilograms (165.3 pounds), lifting 140 kg (308.6 lbs.) in the squat, 137.5 kg (303.1 lbs.) in the dead lift and 62.5 kg (137.8 lbs.) in the bench press. Her squat lift is also tied for the national record.

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

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