Northern Michigan University lacrosse team embarks on 7-game road trip

Northern Michigan University’s Kaitlyn Bridger carries the ball during a game earlier this season played in the Superior Dome in Marquette. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University lacrosse team began a seven-game road stretch with a game in Ohio on Wednesday afternoon.

The Wildcats were playing at Walsh in North Canton, Ohio, before traveling west for the rest of the week. They play at Indianapolis at 4 p.m. Friday before continuing to Lebanon, Illinois, to face McKendree at 3 p.m. EDT Saturday.

Fans can follow this teams @nmuwlax and @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter, or visit the NMU athletics website at nmuwildcats.com for video, live statistics and game previews.

NMU returns home to host Davenport at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 21, in the Superior Dome.

Entering this week, the Wildcats are 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the GLIAC, while Walsh was also 5-2 overall.

Indy is 8-1, while McKendree is 4-5.

Indianapolis just suffered its first loss, a 14-12 setback to No. 7 ranked Regis, and has beaten NMU in all four previous meetings.

McKendree has lost five of its last six. The Wildcats have also never beaten McKendree in six previous meetings.

The road warrior Wildcats had just finished a four-game trip before coming home and beating Concordia-St. Paul 13-11 on Friday.

Northern’s Minnie Bittell earned GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week and IWLCA National Player of the Week for her five goals in six shots in the win. She also became the Wildcats’ all-time leading goal scorer, now at 112, adding two ground balls, two caused turnovers and five draw controls.

Teammate Lauryn Rygiel was named GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week after scoring one goal and making three draw controls, seven ground balls and five draw controls.

Bittell has 21 goals and 25 points this season, the goals second-best in the conference and points fourth. Northern’s Katelyn Mongold with 19 goals and and Kaitlyn Bridger with 15 goals are each second on the team with 22 points each. That ties them for sixth in the conference. Madi Bast is third on the team in goals with 18.

Mongold leads the GLIAC in shots with 44, Bittell is tied for third with 42 and Bast is fifth with 41.

Bittell leads the GLIAC in free-position goals with 11, while Bast is second with eight.

Freshman goalie Hannah Melander leads the GLIAC in goals against average at 11.37 and is second in saves with 58, saves percentage at 44.6% and goals against with 72.

Lauryn Rygiel is second in the conference with 29 draw controls.

Bittell’s and Rygiel’s were the second time NMU had double honors in one week in the league. On Feb. 27, Bast was named GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week and Melander the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week.

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


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