Botts’ four-goal weekend powers team

GVL / Robert Mathews / Player: Ashley Botts

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GVL / Robert Mathews / Player: Ashley Botts

Stephanie Deible

At the start of the 2011 season, the Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team used defense and timely scoring to come away with victories, but this weekend the Lakers had the offense rolling, thanks in large part to junior forward Ashley Botts.

On Friday, the Lakers outscored Northwood University 7-1 before hitting the road Sunday to put away Ohio Dominican University by a score of 1-0.

“The last of seven or eight games we’ve played a little bit better soccer as we’ve gone on, and some the goals that we’ve been scoring in certain games have given us a little more confidence going forward,” said GVSU head coach Dave DiIanni. “I think it’s no surprise that Ashley and Kayla Addison are getting on the score sheet, and that’s helping our team [because] scoring goals is all about confidence.”

Botts has been on a tear as of late, coming off two straight GLIAC Player of the Week honors. She has scored seven goals in GVSU’s last six games, including four goals against the Timberwolves.

“I was just trying to connect for my team, they did work getting it up there to me, and I was just trying to finish it off,” Botts said after the victory over Northwood.

The first of seven Laker goals against Northwood came in the 20th minute from Botts, who knocked the ball in the center of the net after receiving a pass from junior Kayla Addison. Less than two minutes later she struck again, this time on a pass from senior midfielder Erin Mruz.

There is no denying that GVSU fans in attendance were witnessing a Botts highlight reel, but Alyssa Mira, Addison and Maria Brown chipped in with goals to add as well.

Before the first half ended, junior Mira kept momentum on GVSU’s side and joined Botts in the scoring parade by taking a ball right outside the 18 box and guiding to the back of the net. The goal gave the Lakers a 4-1 lead.

Di Ianni said GVSU carried energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the game plan into the second half to score three more goals.

On Sunday, GVSU traveled to Ohio Dominican University to take on the Panthers in a game where the Laker defensive effort was relentless, allowing the Panthers to get off only two shots in 90 minutes.

Sophomore Kayla Kimble said going from an offensive battle on Friday to a defensive game takes a lot of mental engagement, communication and organization to keep the game in front of them.

“We just have to stay in control and relax and play our game,” Kimble said.

GVSU was held scoreless for just over 52 minutes until freshman Charlie Socia used a header that scooted by the Panther goal-keeper to score her second goal of the season.

“I would rather have an ugly win than a pretty loss,” Di Ianni said.

GVSU is now 9-0-2 on the season and 9-0 in GLIAC play, and will be back in action at 7 p.m. Friday at Northwood University.

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