However, experience and physical play helped the visitors from Lowell outscore the Lakers 14-3 the rest of the way for a 17-7 win at Spring Lake High School.
“We’re a young team that is continuing to work hard every day and find our way in the lacrosse world,” said Spring Lake head coach Doug Sharp. “We still have a lot of work to do, but a lot of it is mental. I think we’ll get stronger in that area with the more game experience that we get.”
The Lakers have gotten off to fast starts in all of their games this season, but sustaining that strong play has been an issue.
“I thought we got off to a nice start, and we’ve done that in every game this year,” Sharp added. “But, when you’re young, and you’re going up against bigger, solid seniors like Lowell has, where you’re giving up 30, 40, 50 pounds, it’s hard not to be a little timid compared to how you usually play.
“It’s still early, and we keep getting better, but there’s still a lot of work to do. We lost a lot of seniors and a lot of them were starters. We’re getting there, but it’s not going to happen overnight.”
Lowell dominated the time of possession and shots on goal for the game, but the Laker defense fought through the onslaught for the majority of the second half.
“We played a lot of defense tonight, and I thought Noah Verlinde and Calvin Frifeldt played tough all game. Brant Verlinde put forth a valiant effort in the cage tonight. He was just getting peppered at times.
“Keegan O’Donnell did well on faceoffs again. It was a nice effort all around, but we weren’t clean enough in transition, and we didn’t do enough things well to take them out of what they do well. They got the better of us tonight.”
In other prep sports action:
GH girls soccer ties Reeths-Puffer
The Grand Haven girls soccer team battled through another defensive battle on Wednesday night at Reeths-Puffer High School.
The Buccaneers and Rockets played to a scoreless tie at halftime. In the second half, sophomore forward Alli Keyser rocketed a shot past the keeper to give Grand Haven a 1-0 lead. However, the Rockets would add an equalizer a few minutes later and the game would ultimately end in a 1-1 tie.
“Our team chemistry has been great, and that really helped us tonight,” said Grand Haven head coach Yvonne McKessy. “It was an exciting opportunity to go up against another quality opponent in Reeths-Puffer and I thought both teams played tremendous defense.
“We’ve been working on finishing on the attacking third of the field after we work the ball through midfield, and I thought we showed some progress in that area tonight. Playing on the grass as opposed to the field turf was something we had to adjust to. The pace of the game is slowed down on natural grass, and I think we didn’t fully hit our stride until the second half.”
SL girls soccer ties with Caledonia
The Spring Lake girls soccer team opened its season with a 1-1 tie at Caledonia High School on Wednesday night.
Grace Thornley scored the lone goal for the Lakers, off of a pass from Keara Fritsche.
“It was a strong first match for the ladies,” said Spring Lake coach Rebecca May. “Our senior-led defense was solid all night turning away a talented and aggressive Caledonia attack. Our keeper, Gracie VanLangevelde, made two critical second-half saves to keep the game knotted at one.”
WMC girls soccer blanks Oakridge
The Western Michigan Christian girls soccer team used a fast-paced attack to shut out Oakridge, 3-0.
Emily Rosema scored the first goal of the game for the Warriors off a pass from Molly Patton just four minutes into the game.
The WMC defense was able to shut down the Oakridge offense leading to a 1-0 lead at the half.
With many battles and shots on goal by Oakridge, they just could not find the net to even up the score. The Warriors added another goal when Molly Patton took a shot with 12 minutes left in the game and sank the goal in the back of the net to push the lead to 2-0. Emily Rosema added her second goal of the game with five minutes left in regulation, off a pass from Harley Hubers.
“It was really great to see the girls take some things that we didn't practice last night and put them into tonight's game,” said Western Michigan Christian head coach David Hulings. “The four backs did an excellent job with the new shape. Each one of them tracks their player with precision and that gave us our first shutout of the season.
“We still have some things to work out with some other areas of connecting with players, but I felt like everyone really gave a great effort tonight. We're still a little bit devastated by Mikaela's injury, but it was nice to bring up Claudia Kingma Creek. She did a really great job filling in for us. Grace Johnson, Gabby Boersma, and Anna Sytsema did a great job as the other defenders.
“It was great to see us get going from outside. Midfielder Molly Patton was just in the right place at the right time. It's always great to get midfielders in the story. A lot of players played in different positions tonight, and we have a lot of growth to do. But this was a great first step, especially after such a devastating loss to Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Monday.”
SL baseball edged by Grand Rapids Christian
The Spring Lake baseball team opened its season with a narrow 3-2 loss to host Grand Rapids Christian on Wednesday afternoon.
The Lakers scored one run in the first and second innings, but the Eagles answered with two runs in the bottom of the first inning and added the game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth to hang on for the win.
“There were a lot of positives on both offense and defense,” said Spring Lake coach Jeff Lindsey. “Rylan Peets started, and he threw four solid innings. We played with a lot of effort, and it was good showing to start the season.”
Peets allowed two hits and two walks with no earned runs in the loss. On offense, Austin Schubert and Griffin Lorimer both went 1-for-2 with one run scored to lead the Lakers’ offensive attack.
WMC girls track opens season with strong showing
The Western Michigan Christian girls track team opened its season on a cold, windy day at Holton High School on Wednesday.
Sarah VanderKooi picked up two first-place finishes in the 800-meter run (2 minutes, 37.42 seconds) and the 1,600 run (5:46.86) to lead the Warriors, while Chanaiya Richards won the 100 hurdles (20.01 seconds) and added a second-place finish in the 300 hurdles (54.77).
Other highlights for the Warriors include: Ellie DeKam won the 400 dash (1:05.30), Josie Aardema won the 3,200 run (13:05), the 800 relay team of Kaitlyn Summerfield, Carlie VanderPloeg, Peyton Allen, and Shantele Wilkinson took first-place honors, the 3,200 relay team of Sarah VanderKooi, Ellie DeKam, Ema Davis, and Josie Aardema took first, and Kylie Luhring won the discus event (78-8).