Grand Valley State Favored in 2015 GLIAC Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Poll

Grand Valley State Favored in 2015 GLIAC Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Poll

BAY CITY, Mich. - The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) women's lacrosse coaches selected Grand Valley State University to win the league title in the 2015 GLIAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll. The Lakers are the two-time defending GLIAC regular season and tournament champions since the sports inception in 2013.

The league's head coaches participated in the balloting, but were not allowed to vote for their team.

2015 GLIAC Lacrosse
Preseason Coaches' Poll




School (1st votes)




Grand Valley State (7)




Tiffin (1)







Lake Erie



















GVSU finished atop of the 2015 GLIAC Preseason poll after receiving 49 points and all seven eligible first place-votes. Tiffin University arrived in second with 42 points, just ahead of Findlay with 38 points. 

The Lake Erie Storm place fourth with 29 points, while McKendree accumulated 25 points and a fifth-place ranking. The Walsh Cavaliers appeared at No. 6 with 20 points followed by Alderson-Broaddus (13) and Ursuline (8) in the final two positions.

The 2015 GLIAC women's lacrosse schedule will feature a single round-robin format with each of the nine teams playing seven conference games beginning on April 2.  The GLIAC women's lacrosse tournament will include the top six teams in the final regular season standings with the top two teams receiving byes into the semifinals.  GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal matches will be played at the sites of the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds on Tuesday, April 29.  The Tournament semifinals and final will be held at the site of the No. 1 seed on Friday, May 2 and Sunday, May 4.




-- The following are previews of all 8 GLIAC Lacrosse teams for the 2015 season --


Grand Valley State Lakers
Head Coach:  Alicia Groveston
4th Season
2015 Preseason Pick: 1st


Grand Valley State sees 12 starters from last year's GLIAC regular season and GLIAC Tournament champions return for the 2015 season. GVSU brings back a total of 20 players from the 2014 team while adding 15 newcomers to the roster. GVSU will look to blend a mix of 14 upperclassmen with 22 underclassmen to bring home their third consecutive regular season and tournament titles.

On the offensive side of the field, the Lakers bring back four of their five top point-getters from last season, including 2014 GLIAC "Freshman of the Year" and All-GLIAC First Team midfielder Ryan Skomial (38g, 16a). On attack, GVSU brings back their entire starting line-up of First Team selection Sarah Lowe (17g, 43a), and Second Team honorees Victoria Devine (28g, 5a) and Zoe Stiemann (26g, 9a). 

Defensively, Grand Valley State will be led by two-time GLIAC "Defender of the Year" Alyssa Neumen Between Neumen and returning junior Caitlin Wojichowski, the Lakers bring back a combined 24 starts, 31 caused turnovers and 79 ground balls. The third defensive starter could fall to either sophomore Kali Heller-Spencer (6 CT, 13 GB), or one of the three incoming freshmen defenders.

Returning between the pipes for the Lakers will be Sarah Zwilsky. The rising sophomore made 89 saves and posted a save-percentage of .449 and a 7.27 goals against average in 14 starts last season, and she looks to have a strong second season in a Laker uniform.

Head coach Alicia Groveston enters her fourth season leading the Lakers. The 2014 GLIAC "Coach of the Year" has gone 36-17 in her first three years with GVSU, guiding the Lakers to back-to-back sweeps GLIAC regular season and tournament crowns. 

The 2015 Grand Valley State schedule is as tough as it's ever been, with five teams on this year's schedule making an appearance in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Division II Preseason Media Poll.



Tiffin Dragons
Head Coach: Erica Brown
3rd Season
2015 Preseason Pick: 2nd


The Tiffin University women's lacrosse team looks to continue its streak of playing in GLIAC Championship games under third-year Head Coach Erica Brown, but this year they hope to be the last team standing. Tiffin returns the top goalie in the GLIAC, two-time Goalkeeper of the Year Jessica Bombard, for her senior season. Bombard finished with 246 saves, saving 53.6% of the shots taken against her. Bombard was also awarded an All-GLIAC 1st team selection for her performance last season. GLIAC co-Attacker of the Year Emily Roussel led the GLIAC in goals, points, and was third in assists. Emily finished the year with 74 goals, 28 assists, 102 total points, 78 draw controls, and 48 groundballs. Alexis MacMillan was a 2nd team All-GLIAC selection last season, and returns for her senior year. MacMillan scored 37 goals a year ago, along with 16 assists to total 53 points. Gina Abulone had an outstanding season last year, receiving 2nd team All-GLIAC honors (40 goals, 29 assists, second on the team in total points with 69). Randi Castner returns on defense for the Dragons, earning All-GLIAC 2nd team as a freshman last year. Castner picked up 43 groundballs, grabbed 47 draw controls, and caused 17 turnovers. Tori Nelson is another Dragon that returns with the ability to put the ball in the back of the net (35 goals, 43 groundballs, 15 caused turnovers).

The Dragons have added to their already talented roster with numerous standout players. Tiffany Anderson is a freshman midfielder/defender for the Dragons. She is an East New Market, Maryland native that was named Cambridge South-Dorchester High School's lacrosse MVP. Amanda Flotteron is from Henrietta, New York, attended Rush-Henrietta High School, and garnered 1st team All-County as a member of the lacrosse team. Marci Schaeffer is a freshman defender from Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Devyn Koch is a Hanover, Massachusetts native, and attended Hanover High School. Koch earned All-American status while in attendance and was named to the Super Team for the Patriot Ledger. Koch will see time as a midfielder for the Dragons.


Findlay Oilers
Head Coach: Julie Duffy
5th Season
2015 Preseason Pick: 3rd


The Oilers finished last season with an 8-11 record, going 5-3 in conference play. They were led by Sarah Lankton, who was tabbed the GLIAC Midfielder of the Year. 

Lankton, a junior, earned first team all-conference honors and finished second in the league with 69 goals. She was also among the league leaders in draw controls (108), ground balls (78) and caused turnovers (41). Sophomore Kyra Bradley also returns to the team after earning first team all-conference accolades in 2014. She scored 59 goals on the year and also racked up 14 assists. In addition, senior Jenah Eastep returns after being tabbed second team all-league one year ago when she had 40 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers. 



Lake Erie Storm
Head Coach: Mallory Ferrandiz
1st Season
2015 Preseason Pick: 4th  


The Lake Erie College women's lacrosse team eyes a GLIAC Championship game after falling in the conference semifinals the previous two seasons.  This season, the Storm is led by first-year Head Coach Mallory Ferrandiz, who joins the Storm after serving as an assistant at Belmont Abbey College for two years.  Leading the way for the Storm this year will be Hana Abu-Kwiek.  The two-time All-GLIAC selection led the Storm in points (69), goals (49), assists (20), groundballs (51), draw controls (69) and caused turnovers (48). 

Abu-Kwiek will be joined by Samantha Gryba, who also earned All-GLIAC honors last season. Gryba accounted for 34 points, 31 goals and three assists.  Mallory Quiggle returns after a solid freshman campaign in which she scored 19 goals and had 14 assists.  Classmate Emma Miller was fourth on the team in goals last year with 23 in addition to her seven assists.  Kayla Bohn, Deianira Smith and Breana Moser all saw significant time as freshmen last season. 

Katie Holden returns to the cage for the Storm after earning All-GLIAC honors last season.  Holden made 140 saves last season, picking up eight wins.



McKendree Bearcats
Head Coach: Melissa Pearsall
1st Season
2015 Preseason Pick: 5th  


The McKendree University women's lacrosse team will compete in the GLIAC for the first time this season. The Bearcats competed as an independent last season and finished with an overall record of 3-7. Head coach Melissa Pearsall is in her first season leading McKendree after serving as head coach at Siena University for one season.

The Bearcats return their top five scorers from last season in sophomores Morgan Cremen, Hannah Schneider, Victoria Lelo, and juniors Shirley Boland and Rianne Holzmeyer. Cremen played and started in all 10 games, leading McKendree with 24 goals, while Schneider played and started in eight games, scoring 20 goals with a team-high 11 assists. Cremen and Schneider were also both named to the All-Independent All-Freshman team following last season. Lelo scored 18 goals with 10 assists last season, while Boland scored 10 goals and had five assists, while also leading the team with 33 draw controls and 24 ground balls. Holzmeyer added nine goals last season after starting in all 10 games.


Walsh Cavaliers
Head Coach: Christy Mitchell
3rd Season
2015 Preseason Pick: 6th


Walsh is looking forward to its third collegiate season in history and looking to improve upon last year's 6-9 overall record. The Cavaliers qualified for the GLIAC playoffs where they were defeated by Tiffin.

The Cavs will return 10 letter winners including three of their top four goal scorers and their starting goalkeeper. Midfielder Maria Nobile (5-7, So., Westerville, OH/Olentangy Orange) was the top point-getter in 2014 with 34 goals and 11 assists. Midfielder Steffi Zepp (6-0, So., Dublin, OH/Coffman) added 22 goals and three assists and attacker Aly Jajack (5-1, So., North Canton, OH/Hoover) tallied 17 goals and seven assists. Tia Tyler (5-8, Jr., Columbus, OH/St. Francis DeSales) returns between the pipes where she started 12 games last season including all six of Walsh's wins.

Alderson Broaddus Battlers

Head Coach: Jennifer Guess
3rd Season
2015 Preseason Pick:  7th

OVERVIEW:  The Battlers look to continue to improve in their third season as an NCAA program. Alderson Broaddus picked up their first win in program history, 12-11 over Chowan, and first GLIAC victory, 12-10 at Ursuline, in 2014. The Battlers scored 2.92 goals per game overall and 3.00 in conference play.

AB returns its top three scorers from a year ago. Cynthia Rice led the offense with 11 points on 11 goals. Tia Kline added six goals and two assists for eight points. Jasmine Barham finished the year with five points on four goals and one helper. The Battlers open the season at Shepherd on Feb. 22.

Ursuline Arrows
Head Coach: Ed Karasek
2nd Season
2015 Preseason Pick: 8th

OVERVIEW: The Ursuline College lacrosse team is entering its second season and coming off a five-win inaugural campaign. Head coach Ed Karasek returns 11 players from last season's team and is adding a pair of freshmen midfielders in Celeste Friel and Cydney Bartlett to the mix. Sophomore Sarah Kiefer is the team's top returning scorer after totaling 27 goals as a rookie and her classmate Maddie Kipp found the back of the net 21 times in 2014 before being forced to miss the final eight games of the season due to injury. 

Sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Cole hopes to build on a strong freshman season. Last year, she started all 16 games and faced 400 shots on goal. She finished third in the GLIAC and ninth in Division II with 162 saves. She also ranked ninth nationally in saves per game (10.1). 

Ursuline will play its first 10 games away from home before ending the year by hosting five of its final seven games.