With two games remaining in the season, the University of Indianapolis women’s lacrosse team is currently tied for fifth in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Hounds took a 20-8 loss to No. 8 Grand Valley State University on Friday, April 22.
Freshman attack Hana Priddy put the Greyhounds up 1-0 to open the scoring for the game. Priddy’s unassisted goal came at the 29:09 mark in the first half. After a goal by GVSU, junior attack Chalane Morrison scored an unassisted goal of her own. Priddy and Morrison each scored one more time before the first half closed out with a score of 9-4 in favor of the Lakers.
The Greyhounds scored three goals in the second half. Freshman attack/midfield Sydney Hauffman began the scoring in the second half with a goal at the 29:38 mark. Hauffman’s goal was assisted by Morrison to make it a 9-5 score.
After two goals by GVSU, Morrison scored her third unassisted goal of the game. Before the end of the second half, Hauffman scored two more unassisted goals, one of which was the last goal of the game.
The Greyhounds faced off against Lake Erie College on April 17 at Key Stadium, losing 5-4.
The match was tight between both the Storm and the Greyhounds, with the first 30 minutes of play completely scoreless with only eight shots on goal between both teams.
Lake Erie redshirt senior attack Hana Abu-Kwiek was the first to score a goal in the 38th minute of the first half and drove the Storm’s momentum from there into the second half.
Morrison claimed two goals in the second half, with sophomore attack Anna Rulapaugh and junior midfield Erika Mackenzie each netting a goal apiece.
The game was a match of turnovers, with 18 from Lake Erie and 21 from UIndy. UIndy was only successful on 11 of the Hounds’ 20 clear attempts.
The Hounds had defeated the Storm 16-6 just two weeks earlier at Lake Erie College on April 1. Howley said that while the Storm made a few adjustments since their last meeting, a different goalie and UIndy’s inability to clear the ball were prominent factors in the loss. Howley believes the players mindset is what may have cost them the game.
“It’s hard to beat a team twice. When we went out and played Lake Erie [on April 1], the team was fired up, focused and played some of the best lacrosse we [have] played this year. And then this past Sunday, it was really hard to get the team refocused and recharged, when the score was 16-6 the last time,” Howley said. “On paper, that looks like a blowout. But in person, the game was a lot closer and a lot tighter. I think some of the players had the mindset of ‘Well, we crushed them last time; this will be a cake walk.’ I don’t think that was everyone’s mentality, but I do think that was in the back of everyone’s mind.”
Prior to the Lake Erie loss, UIndy hosted the Walsh University Cavaliers on Friday, April 15.
In the teams’ first matchup on April 3, the Hounds statistically dominated the game and field, winning 21-7. This game proved no different as the Greyhounds quickly gained possession of a 4-0 lead.
Rulapaugh was the first to score in the 18th minute, and three more goals followed from Morrison, freshman midfield Erica Bushold and freshman attack/midfield Hannah Burczyk within four minutes of the first. The Greyhounds ended the first half with a 7-1 lead, and the second half continued at that pace with the final score 19-10.
Hauffman claimed a career-high five goals in the game. Priddy assisted in the Hounds’ possession of the ball with a career-high 11 draw controls. UIndy also totaled 41 shots, which is a season-high, compared to Walsh’s 21.
Howley said she is impressed with the women’s success in their inaugural regular season and the growth in the team both on and off the field.
“We have seen a lot more wins on the season than anyone anticipated. We have six wins on the year, and I think that is something to be very proud of,” Howley said. “The maturity and confidence levels of the girls has also increased dramatically, especially when it comes to representing the program both on and off the field [and] is something I am very proud of.”
This weekend will be the last of the team’s regular season matchups and then the Greyhounds will move on to conference play. The top six teams in conference move on to play in the tournament, with the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds receiving a bye, the third and fourth seeds playing at home and the fifth and sixth ranked teams on the road.
Howley said there is a huge benefit for the team in being eligible to play in the tournament, since most of the players are freshmen and the postseason can be stressful.
“I’m glad we are going to be in it [conference play] because with a young group, it’s good to get them in that mindset,” Howley said. “I think being a spring sport athlete is the toughest, because it’s the end of the year and they have been prepping for this since August. We basically have the longest preseason out of any sport on campus. So you’re asked to perform at your highest both on the field and in the classroom, with end-of-the year work and finals. We are moving finals around, and it’s stressful. And a lot of them are freshmen, and it’s hard to adjust with change.”
Mackenzie said she understands the process of the postseason and how to mentally prepare for the games.
“I definitely feel like I have experience with this because I have played at this level. Finals and conference is stressful, especially since we have already seen these teams so many times. So knowing that upsets can happen [helps with the right mindset]. We have seen the upsets, and we have been part of the upsets, so we just need to keep thinking about that. It’s all about getting everyone into the right mindset when it comes to preparation.”
The Greyhounds will travel to Tiffin, Ohio,where they will take on the Tiffin University Dragons on Friday, April 29. The game is set to start at 6 p.m.