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Polar Opposites

03/31/2013, 10:15pm EDT
By Shawn D. Minnix

Grizzlies win over SVSU; lose against third-ranked Wolverines

The Oakland Grizzlies women’s lacrosse team played two games on March 14th and March 19th, and found out a great deal about the squad in the process.

                  In the first game played on March 14th against Saginaw Valley State University, the Grizzlies jumped out to a 9-1 lead en route to a 19-7 victory over the Cardinals. Desiree Messina paced the Grizzlies with four goals, and newcomer Morgan Moskowiak also had four for OU (2-0).

                  Moskowiak has been one of the biggest surprises so far this season, and said she could not ask for a better group of teammates to put the ball in the net.

                  “It’s really easy working with them,” Moskowiak said. “We blend pretty well. Honestly, working with all of these girls, it’s really easy to score.”

Moskowiak has high goals for the team for only being a freshman, one of which is to move to the next level of NCAA athletics.

                  “It would be nice to move to D-I,” Moskowiak said. “Hopefully we can work a little more and get up there eventually.”

                  Assistant coach Dwayne Hicks was pleased but still thought there was plenty of room for improvement.

                  “First half, I don’t think we were as strong as we could have been,” Hicks said. “It was just a matter of learning to play at their speed.”

                  Head Coach Towbey Kassa echoed those sentiments and said that he believes this team is capable of much more based on the enormous potential of the Grizzlies.

                  “I think it could have been better,” Kassa said. “I think we should have been better because I have high expectations for this team. My expectations are much greater than what most other people would see.”

                  SVSU went on a scoring run early in the second half as the Cardinals put four consecutive goals behind All-American goaltender Lauren Pattah. Kassa called timeout to get the team back on track and the Grizzlies scored six out of the last eight goals in the game.

                  Even with the scoring run, Hicks thinks the team is right where it should be for this time of the season.

                  “We’re right there,” Hicks said. “Every week, we’re learning. It’s just a matter of time learning the little things until you get the whole package.”

                  The team’s next game was the following Tuesday at what has become a house of horrors for the Grizzlies, Oosterbaan Field House in Ann Arbor. It was a rematch of a scrimmage played a month earlier against the third-ranked Michigan Wolverines.

                  The rematch went almost the same way as the first game, as Oakland fell behind early but managed to stay in the game, only down 9-5 at halftime.

                  In the second half, the Wolverines played at a supremely high level, stopping the vaunted OU offense at every turn. Oakland only scored one goal in the second half, and Michigan won the game handily 19-6.

                  As expected, Kassa was upset with the outcome, especially with the poor start of his team in the second half.

                  “We didn’t start,” Kassa said. “We never played. We were lethargic; we weren’t working well as a team.”

                  Lauren Pattah had 37 shots fired at her, stopping 18 of them. The highest point-getter was Vittoria Wallace who had two for the Grizzlies.

                  Kassa was unsure of how his team would respond after the loss, and just hoped the ladies would put it behind them.

                  “We’ll see what happens with the girls at practice tomorrow,” Kassa said. “If they show up ready to compete on Thursday night, we could put a whooping on them like Michigan put a whooping on us.”

                  The next game is against Toledo on Thursday, March 21st at Detroit Country Day High School, followed by a triple-header over the weekend at Lake Orion High School on Sunday. 

Tag(s): Oakland University