LEBANON, Il. Northern Michigan University Lacrosse made their first appearance in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament and scored the most goals against McKendree University in program history but fell 26-10 in the quarterfinals that featured a five hour delay and an additional 30 minute delay.
Freshman Aleya Speas (Castle Rock, Colo.) led the Wildcats with three goals. Junior Graison Ringlever (Mattawan, Mich.), and freshman Jessica Daniels (Brighton, Mich.) and Emily Renfrew (Okemos, Mich.) each added two goals. Sophomore Bianca Kinder (Haslett, Mich.) chipped in with a goal as well.
Ringlever also finished with a team-best nine draw controls.
Freshman Jessica Close (Stafford, Va.) tallied four ground balls to lead the Wildcats, Renfrew notched three with Kinder, Ringlever, junior Angelica Bogden (Clarkston, Mich.) and freshman Ava Engler (Ham Lake, Minn.).
Freshman Cam Stilson (Brighton, Mich.) finished the game with 10 saves.
THE EARLY FIRST HALF
McKendree jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the 25:32 mark, but the game was postponed due to weather for nearly five hours. Once play resumed, NMU scored three quick goals. Daniels found Kinder to get the run started with 21:14 to play. Renfrew then added a goal two minutes later and with 14:55 to go, Speas scored to make it 4-3. The Bearcats answered with three quick goals before the teams were forced into another delay.
CLOSING THE FIRST
Soon after play resumed again, Daniels scored her first of the half, followed by another Speas goall from a free position attempt. After two MCK goals, Ringlever found the net to make the score 9-6. The hosts responded with four more goals until Danels scored her second of the half with less than five minutes remaining in the half. McKendree closed the half with four goals and took a 17-7 halftime lead.
A NEW HALF
The Bearcats scored two goals to begin the second half before Speas struck for the third time. MCK replied with two more of their own goals until Renfrew and Ringlever both scored on free position shots to make the score 21-10 with 17 minutes remaining. The hosts added five more goals before the final horn, earning the 26-10 victory to advance to the GLIAC Semifinals.
FINISHING THE SEASON
The Wildcats conclude the season with four wins, the most the young program has achieved in a season. They also have achieved more goals, assists and points along with fewer goals allowed.