Ashland University's lacrosse team lost to No. 22 Grand Valley State on Friday (March 22), 20-7, in the Eagles' return to Ferguson Field.
"It was one of those games you know going in that Grand Valley is the second-best team in our conference, they've been conference champs for many years, top 25 team in the country, and you knew you'd take your lumps today and they would score some goals," said Ashland (2-4 overall, 1-2 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) head lacrosse coach Shaun Williamson. "We needed to step up and believe in ourselves and believe in the ability we have and not shy away from things.
"We came out against McKendree and were a little hesitant and shy to some of the physicality, and we were better tonight."
Junior Sofia Michael scored four goals for Ashland to bring her goal total to 28 on the season, the most in the GLIAC so far this season.
"There isn't much more I can say about Sofia," said Williamson. "She's a fantastic, talented kid. She works hard. She's not somebody that just comes out to practice and puts in a shift at practice. She's usually out here 30 minutes to an hour early, working on shooting and bringing other players with her."
Ashland's young goalkeeper, freshman Corynn Schneider, was peppered with shots, but stayed strong in net, making 11 saves. The Lakers had the lion's share of shots on the night, 43-13.
"Defensively, we got a little tired," said Williamson. "As a freshman goalkeeper, it's so hard. Normally, you're starting a junior and giving a freshman two years to learn. Corynn has seen more shots compared to what she will normally see once we get a little more seasoned, and better defensively."
Another key factor for Grand Valley was draw controls, where it lead the Eagles, 22-6. The Lakers were able to maintain possession once they won the draw, and it led to goals. They also were more efficient clearing, 10-for-11, to Ashland's 8-for-17.
Leading the way for Grand Valley (6-1, 3-0) was senior Carly Shisler with six goals. Juniors Sarah Stagaard and Abbi O'Neal both chipped in four goals apiece.
The Eagles' next game will come at home on Sunday (March 24) against GLIAC foe Davenport at noon.