Lacrosse places 8th at Great Lakes Lacross League Championships

By Ed Rietveld

NIU lacrosse traveled to Madison, Wis. to take part in the year ending Great Lakes Lacrosse League Championships.

The Huskies (7-4) lost in the quarterfinals 11-4 against the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (9-0) Saturday.

David Jasper, NIU lacrosse president and defenseman, said the Huskies spent too much time in the defensive zone against the Blugolds.

“We played a lot of defense,” Jasper said, “We didn’t really get to possess the ball a lot. If we did, we threw it away, so we spent a lot of time on the defense side. I’d say that’s what accredits them getting 11 goals against us.”

Even though the Huskies were eliminated from championship contention, they didn’t have much time to dwell on Saturday’s loss. The Huskies faced the University of North Dakota (9-3) in a consolation bracket game, later Saturday.

It took the Huskies a little while to get going against the Fighting Sioux. NIU was down 5-0 at one point. The Huskies would rally and tie the score at nine going into overtime, where they would fall 10-9.

NIU junior defenseman Pat Kelly said after the team was down 5-0 they knew something had changed.

“We took a second to collect ourselves and realize that we weren’t playing our game,” Kelly said, “It was kind of getting chippy. There was a lot of dirty plays going on both sides, and then after we collected ourselves, we were able to come back and play our game.”

NIU sophomore attackman Mike Walczak was a key contributor in the Huskies comeback, scoring six of its nine goals.

“Well, I was just getting a lot of open looks and I was able to capitalize on those open looks,” Walczak said.

NIU finished the season on a three-game losing streak. The Huskies lost the seventh place game 10-4 to the Mad Cow Lacrosse Club (8-4).

Jasper said injuries left the team shorthanded in the game on Sunday morning.

“We had a lot of injuries,” Jasper said, “We had four people not suit up for the game, and then during the game we had another person get hurt, too. So it’s just tough when you have one line of subs out there.”

The Huskies finished eighth out of the GLLL’s 33 teams.