No. 4 GVSU downs opponents in GLIAC play

GVL/Kevin Sielaff  
Hannah Phommavongsa (19) dribbles the ball around midfield. The Laker soccer team defeats SVSU Sept. 22 by a margin of 6-1 in Allendale.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Hannah Phommavongsa (19) dribbles the ball around midfield. The Laker soccer team defeats SVSU Sept. 22 by a margin of 6-1 in Allendale.

Mason Tronsor

The Grand Valley State women’s soccer team traveled to Ohio for a pair of conference matches over the weekend and came away with its 11th and 12th consecutive victories.

The No. 4 Lakers (12-1, 8-0 GLIAC) topped the undefeated No. 21 Ashland Eagles 5-0 on Friday night, and bested the Ohio Dominican Panthers 3-0 on Sunday afternoon.

“This weekend’s success puts us in good shape moving forward,” said GVSU head coach Jeff Hosler.

The Lakers remain undefeated in GLIAC play, and have yet to see a true scare against conference opponents.

Freshman goalkeeper Emily Maresh returned to action Friday night against Ashland. Maresh had been sidelined the past few games with an undisclosed injury. She returned to form, and, with the aid of a strong defense, posted two shutouts on the weekend.

The rest of the GVSU squad did what it usually does – shoot and score in droves. The Lakers outshot their two opponents 54-13, as seven different Lakers scored a goal over the weekend.

Friday night’s showdown against Ashland was a battle of the GLIAC unbeatens. The Eagles (9-2, 5-2 GLIAC) came into the contest boasting a 9-0 overall record, but the Lakers wasted no time asserting dominance atop the conference.

The Lakers started hot out of the gates as junior midfielder Gabbie Guibord scored her second goal of the season off a corner kick from junior Marti Corby just under three minutes into the match.

“I knew scoring a goal early in the match is exactly what we needed,” Guibord said. “I just tried to get my head on the end of Marti’s corner ball.”

Guibord’s header set the tone for the rest of the first half. Four different Lakers followed suit and put the ball in the back of the net to send GVSU into the break up 5-0. Junior Kendra Stauffer used hustle and second effort to steal the ball away from an Ashland defender and score a breakaway goal in the 12th minute – her sixth goal of the season.

Shortly after, the barrage continued as the Lakers received another goal from an unlikely source. Sophomore defender Shannon Quinn scored her first of the season in the 15th minute to increase the GVSU lead to 3-0. The Lakers continued to pile on, as Corby and senior Katie Bounds scored before the halftime buzzer sounded.

“We felt pretty good about scoring five goals in the first half against a team as good as Ashland,” Hosler said. “Second half, we just lost our patience.”

The Lakers were out of sync offensively in the second half. However, their always-stout defense stood strong in front of Maresh, who made three saves on the night as GVSU pulled out the 5-0 win. The win keeps GVSU atop the GLIAC with an undefeated conference record.

“This win means a lot especially to win 5-0,” Bounds said. “It also means we need to keep winning like this and other teams should look out for us.”

The Lakers took the momentum of that victory into Sunday’s contest at Ohio Dominican. The match against the Panthers was a backwards version of the one against Ashland.

The Lakers started off slow, and the two teams fought to a first half stalemate 0-0. The Lakers outshot the Panthers 12-4, but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.

GVSU broke through in the second half, however.

Senior midfielder Katie Klunder started it off with a strike from about 20 yards out to give the Lakers the lead.

Once again, GVSU received offense from a rarely called-upon asset. Freshman Mackenzie Fox netted the first goal of her career off a free kick. Less than a minute after those fireworks, the Lakers put the game away with a goal from Corby. The goal was her 15th of the season.

The Lakers prevailed 3-0 after a sluggish start to the match.

“Establishing our style of play is crucial,” Hosler said. “Today we learned how to bounce back from a below-average first half.”

The Lakers return home next week to try to defend home turf against two in-state foes in Michigan Tech on Oct. 16 and Northern Michigan on Oct. 18.