MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Northern Michigan University Lacrosse begins their 2018 season by hosting Albion College for an exhibition game inside the Superior Dome Saturday afternoon.
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Beginning the second season: The 2018 season will be the second season of existence for the NMU lacrosse program. In their debut season, the team captured an 18-1 victory over Northland College in their first-ever contest. They also captured a 22-10 win at Notre Dame University. This year's squad, while young, will provide excitement to the field behind a quick and dynamic offense. Defense returns and features experience gained from last season.
Attacking up front: Sophomore Graison Ringlever (Matawan, Mich.) returns after posting 24 goals and two assists to the offense. Joining the attack will be freshman Emily Dvorak (Oconomowoc, Wis./Arrowhead) and Ellie Bahr (Crystal, Minn./Benilde St. Margarets) will also seek an immediate impact to the offense. The team will lean on the pair as they both provide speed, quickness and vision to the frontline.
Protecting the cage: Senior Brianna Bangle (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) returns after leading the nation in saves per game last year. She also led the Wildcats with 32 ground balls. Freshman Emily Karbaum (Sudlersville, Md./Queen Annes) joins the team and provides a steady and level-headed presence in goal.
Getting the ball: Junior Megan Palacio (Cumberland, R.I.), a captain this season, finished the year with 15 draw controls and 16 ground balls. Sophomore Angelica Bogden (Clarkson, Mich./Lakeland) added 14 draw controls and 13 ground balls. Bogden also finished third on last year's team with seven caused turnovers. Taking the draws this season will be freshman Bianca Kinder (Haslett, Mich.), who provides good height for the draw and has displayed good communication thus far.
Playing defense: Senior Danielle Grzeskowiak (Brighton, Mich.) returns to help lead the defense. Joining her on the backline will be freshman Shannon Walus (Brighton, Mich.). Walus adds speed to the team's defense and will be a key part to the team's clear game.
Experience gained: Several players return who contributed to the team in ways not shown on the stat sheet and are looking to make a larger contribution this year. Sophomore Nicole Smith (Green Bay, Wis./East), junior Tori Aidif (Grandville, Mich.), junior Amanda Robers (Elkhorn, Wis.), junior Cassandra Marshall (Appleton, Wis./Appleton North) sophomore Leiss Luyckx (Troy, Mich./Bloomfield Hills) each come into the season with an aim to make larger contributions after gaining experience last year.
Looking to provide impact: Looking to immediately aid the team are four freshman Hannah Seaman (Clarkston, Mich.) will look to help the team control the midfield. Tess Kostelec (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake) could see time both in the midfield and on the attack. Hannah Jackson (Brighton, Mich.), and Casey Heintzelman (Hudsonville, Mich.) eye adding to the offensive firepower.