Rising Northern Michigan University Wildcats lacrosse team to open at home in late winter

Northern Michigan University's Kaitlyn Bridger, center, tries to evade Grand Valley State's Shae Strehl, left, and looks to pass the ball to a teammate during the first half of their GLIAC lacrosse game played April 18, 2021, at the Superior Dome in Marquette. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — Coming off its best season in program history, the Northern Michigan University women’s lacrosse team gets back on the field at the Superior Dome in late February.

The Wildcats went 9-8 last spring, its fifth season as a varsity program not including a shortened three-game 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Madeline Bittell, who will be a junior this season, has been named to the GLIAC First Team in her first two years at NMU, rewriting the team’s record book last spring with 52 goals, 71 points, 124 total shots and 90 shots on goal.

Another junior-to-be, Lauryn Rygiel, also made the league First Team, leading the GLIAC with 29 caused turnovers and second on the team in ground balls and draw controls.

Three more Wildcats made the conference Second Team, including sophomore returnee Maddi Bast, while another was honorable mention for a total of six honored Northern players in the GLIAC. 

This winter, NMU opens with two home games indoors in the dome, hosting Concordia-Ann Arbor on Feb. 25 and Missouri Western on Feb. 26.

Following that will be five consecutive games on the road, in fact, out of state. The Wildcats play at Lewis in Romeoville, Illinois, on March 3, at McKendree in Lebanon, Illinois, on March 4, at Quincy in Quincy, Illinois, on March 5 and at the same site two later on March 7 vs. Westminster College.

Then comes a road date in St. Louis vs. Maryville on March 9.

The weekend after Northern returns home to open GLIAC play, hosting Concordia-St. Paul on March 17 and Upper Iowa on March 19.

Then comes another long road stretch, starting at nonconference Indianapolis on March 24.

The last half-dozen games are back in the GLIAC, including at Grand Valley State on March 31, at Davenport on April 2, at Upper Iowa on April 14 and at Concordia-St. Paul on April 16.

NMU completes its regular season with a pair of home games against Davenport on April 21 and GVSU on April 23.

The GLIAC Tournament quarterfinals are scheduled for April 28, with the semifinals and finals likely the following wekeend.

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


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