MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Northern Michigan University Lacrosse will take on Wheeling Jesuit University Sunday for their first regular season matchup of 2018.
The game will take place in Beverly Hills, Michigan and be played at Detroit Country Day High School. Video and live stats will not be available.
Follow @NMU_Wildcat on Twitter for continued coverage throughout the weekend.
Beginning the second season: 2018 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. Several returners come back and will lean on experience gained from last season.
Leading the team: Graison Ringlever (Matawan, Mich.) scored seven goals in the team's exhibition game against Albion College. She also led the team with nine draw controls. Freshman Emily Dvorak (Oconomowoc, Wis./Arrowhead) added a team-best two assists and finished with five draw controls. Freshman Bianca Kinder (Haslett, Mich.) chipped into the effort with four goals and four draw controls. Senior Danielle Grzeskowiak (Brighton, Mich.) paced the team with four ground balls and caused two turnovers.
Getting the ball: Sophomore Nicole Smith (Green Bay, Wis./East), freshman Tess Kostelec (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake), and Ringlever all chipped into the team's effort by getting three ground balls each against Albion. Junior Megan Palacio (Cumberland, R.I.), a captain this season, finished last 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.
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. Against Albion, freshman Emily Karbaum (Sudlersville, Md./Queen Annes) made 18 saves.
Playing defense: Joining Grzeskowiak 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. Juniors Tori Aidif (Grandville, Mich.), Amanda Robers (Elkhorn, Wis.), Cassandra Marshall (Appleton, Wis./Appleton North) and 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: Freshman Hannah Seaman (Clarkston, Mich.) will look to help the team control the midfield. Freshmen Hannah Jackson (Brighton, Mich.), and Casey Heintzelman (Hudsonville, Mich.) eye adding to the offensive firepower.
NMU versus Wheeling Jesuit: The Wildcats visited the Cardinals last season but fell 15-5. This year's WJU team enters Sunday contest having fallen to #9 Regis University and will take on Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Friday evening.