Northern Michigan University lacrosse splits at home, falling to Grand Valley State and beating Davenport

From left, Northern Michigan University’s Minnie Bittell makes a pass while defended by Davenport’s Blakely Malpass and Alyssa Bird during their GLIAC women’s lacrosse game held at the Superior Dome in Marquette on Sunday. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University women’s lacrosse team split its first two GLIAC games of the season at home over the weekend, falling to league-leading Grand Valley State 17-6 before defeating Davenport 18-7.

Already the holder of nearly every offensive record at Northern, senior Minnie Bittell reached another milestone with her 200th career goal in the second quarter against DU, one of only seven active players in NCAA Division II to have recorded that achievement.

The Wildcats moved to 10-3 overall with a 1-1 record in the GLIAC, tied with Concordia-St. Paul and a game behind the Lakers, who are now 10-1 overall with their perfect 2-0 league mark.

With just four more regular-season matches remaining, the Wildcats will hold Senior Day at 1 p.m. Saturday when they host the fourth GLIAC member, Concordia-St. Paul, at the Superior Dome.

After that are three road matches in the conference — at 5 p.m. April 19 at Davenport, noon April 21 at GVSU and 1 p.m. EDT April 27 at C-St. Paul.

The GLIAC Tournament is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, May 3-5, at a location or locations to be determined.

Here is a roundup of the weekend matches:


Grand Valley 17, NMU 6

On Friday afternoon and evening, the nationally ranked No. 9 Lakers, who would improve to 10-1 by the end of the weekend, kept Bittell off the scoreboard as far as goals go, though she did register an assist.

Instead, it was Josie Lakosky pacing the Wildcats with two goals as she added in three ground balls.

Camryn Mayer, Kaitlyn Bridger, Danielle Key and Avery Lorinser added single goals for NMU, while teammate Norah Bates had four ground balls and NMU netminder Lauren Esposito made 10 saves.

Bridger opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game, but GVSU would score the remaining 11 goals of the first half to build a huge halftime advantage. The scoring barrage began less than 40 seconds after Bridger’s goal by the Lakers’ Maddy Champagne, who finished with a game-high five goals. Teammate Hailey Crittenden added four tallies, while Delaney Smith scored both her goals before the first quarter was over.

Kaylyn Cater and Sarah Krause split goaltending duties for GVSU, making eight saves between them.

NMU went on a solid run to start the second half, scoring the only four goals of the third quarter and five in a row in total to cut GV’s lead to 11-6 following a Mayer goal about 2 1/2 minutes into the fourth.

But the Lakers’ had one more scoring run of their own left, scoring the final six goals for a double-digit victory.


NMU 18, Davenport 7

On Sunday afternoon, Bittell’s milestone goal was her second of a three-goal hat trick, bringing her season total to 54, while she also had a majority of her team’s assists with three.

She was joined by Lakosky with three goals, while Laine Stanton actually led NMU scorers with four goals. Lakosky also had a team-high two caused turnovers.

Bridger pumped in two goals, while Key, Abby Sisson, Isabella Detienne, Ella Larson, Clara Johnson and Taylor Priestley had one goal apiece.

Blakely Malpass and Brianna Rodriguez paced the Panthers (5-4, 0-2 GLIAC) with two goals each.

Esposito played all but about six minutes in the NMU net, making four saves, while Brigid Fornek had one save in her limited playing time in goal. Maisy Latus stopped 12 Northern shots in the DU net.

After Bridger and Bittell scored in the game’s first 5:05, the teams exchanged goals into early in the second period as the Wildcats held a narrow 4-3 lead with 12:42 left in the second.

Then NMU exploded for five goals in a row over a 5 1/2-minute span and would lead 11-4 at halftime. Northern also scored five of the first six goals of the third quarter to build an insurmountable 16-5 advantage before each team scored twice in the game’s final 17 minutes.

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


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