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Friday's lacrosse match will benefit MS charity

  • team huddle

Posted on April 19, 2018

Grand Valley's lacrosse team will host Northern Michigan in a match that will mean more than the final score.

The Lakers will wear special orange uniforms and headbands that will be auctioned following the match, with proceeds to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Sophomore midfielder Abbi O'Neal's father died from the disease last year, and senior attacker Ashley Bailey's grandmother is living with MS.

Head coach Alicia Groveston said the fundraiser is a celebration of the lives of Brian O'Neal and Carolyn DeVries and also a testament to the spirit and heart of her team.

"There is a sixth sense, an empathy, within our team that makes these players incredibly special," said Groveston, in her seventh year as head coach. "They share a heart; they work together and work for each other."

In a video by Laker Athletics, O'Neal said after her father's funeral last August, she wanted to return to campus quickly.

"I couldn't have gotten through this without these girls by my side," she said.

Bailey said her grandmother, 69, is coping with MS well. Last fall DeVries walked a half marathon. "You never know when she's having problems, because she deals with it. One foot in front of the other," she said.