The Oakland University Lady Grizzlies took the field last Saturday for the team’s final action until the spring season, and finished with quite a flourish, going a perfect 4-0. OU finished the fall season 9-1, with the only loss coming to the University of Michigan.
Saturday was also the “Cure for the Cause”, an event sponsored by Oakland as well as the other teams participating to promote breast cancer awareness.
In the first game of the day, Oakland cruised to a 15-6 victory over the University of Toledo. In last year’s spring game, the Lady Grizzlies defeated the Rockets 21-4.
Second, OU took care of business against the University of Michigan’s “B” team, 13-6. In last year’s spring game, the Lady Grizzlies won a hard-fought 13-10 decision at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse in Ann Arbor.
In game three, Oakland played against Central Michigan University, and the defensive pressure really showed as the Lady Grizzlies defeated the Chippewas 11-3. Last year’s spring score was 16-5 in the very first women’s lacrosse game played at the OU soccer field.
Oakland’s final game of the afternoon was against a familiar foe, the University of Dayton Flyers. The Flyers were the second seed behind Oakland in the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse League’s Conference tournament in late April.
The teams met once in the regular season, with Oakland coming out on top 13-8, and again in the playoffs as Oakland won the WCLL Championship with a 14-7 victory.
In the final Fall ball game, Dayton jumped out to an early 6-2 lead and held a two-goal lead at halftime as Oakland looked a bit lethargic, much to the chagrin of Lady Grizzlies head coach Towbey Kassa.
“What happened was everyone wasn’t doing their assignments,” Kassa said. “When you have one person doing their assignments, everyone is trying to catch up for those people making those mistakes.”
Fortunately, Oakland came out much stronger in the second half and eventually overtook the Flyers, winning 10-8 to send a statement to the rest of the WCLL for the coming season.
Kassa was pleased with the effort in the second half, as the Lady Grizzlies started to run the offense and began to solve Dayton on the defensive end.
“We started figuring it out and players started stepping up,” Kassa said. “It did start off slow, but toward the end in the second half, it worked out pretty good.”
Kassa was especially pleased with the play of Donna Lapointe and goalie Lauren Pattah, as both gave the Lady Grizzlies a defensive spark in the second half.
“Donna’s a fantastic player who wanted this game really bad,” Kassa said about the Dayton game. “When Lauren gets zoned in she’s ready to go. She did a good job and kind of dictated what was going on.”
While the team played very strong during the Fall Ball schedule, Kassa believes there is still room for improvement, especially at the beginning of games to not fall into a large hole as the Lady Grizzlies did against the Flyers.
“We got to work on getting rid of the ball quicker,” Kassa said. “Beating those teams trying to catch up, instead of being the team playing catch-up.”
The schedule comes out officially on Nov. 4 and the Lady Grizzlies are expected to be a favorite in the WCLL again this year. OU’s ultimate goal is a fourth consecutive trip to Colorado for the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association Div. II National Championships in May and to come home as the best team in the nation.