GVSU soccer posts two more shutouts en route to third round

GVSU Soccer vs. Rockhurst, 11/9/18, GVSU Soccer Field. GVL / Katherine Vasile

GVSU Soccer vs. Rockhurst, 11/9/18, GVSU Soccer Field. GVL / Katherine Vasile

Kady Volmering

As the GLIAC champions for the 14th consecutive year, the Grand Valley State women’s soccer team earned the No. 1 seed to start off the NCAA tournament. Their first game was against No. 8 seed Rockhurst on Friday, Nov. 9.

The Lakers shut out the Hawks, earning a 7-0 win over them in a game both physically and mentally demanding, as the first snow of the season fell all throughout the match.

“I think the girls were a little too consumed with the conditions, and not focusing on what needed to happen in between the lines,” Hosler said. “It’s just one of those moments where I wish soccer had a time out. I think their minds were on that more than the match.”

Even with a soggy field and temperatures near freezing, the Lakers were able to dominate the majority of the first half, scoring five goals before heading into halftime. The first goal came from sophomore defender Cecilia Steinwasher, with an assist from junior Riko Sagara just before the 15-minute mark.

The next four goals came in a matter of ten minutes, with the Lakers’ second goal from freshman Chelsea Graves in the 24th minute. Redshirt sophomore Corey Sawall, freshman Timia Robinson and sophomore Ava Cook added three more goals to bring the score to 5-0 going into the second half.

“I don’t think it had to do with energy, but creating more imbalance over our opponent,” Hosler said. “I think we were really predictable the first twenty minutes or so, and then we started having more depth and layers in our attack.”

With such a lead on the Hawks, the Lakers had to dial in to keep up the level of intensity that led them score so many goals in the first half.

“The second 45 minutes is an opportunity to grow and get better,” Hosler said. “We want to use that as an opportunity to improve because we have a really good Walsh team on Sunday, and it’s important that we continue to learn ways how to break down opponents.”

The Lakers were able to continue their momentum through the end of the game, scoring two more times before the 90 minutes was up. The sixth goal came from freshman Madeline Becker and freshman Raemi DeWent earned the Lakers’ final goal in the 63rd minute with a breakaway run.

The team continued their winning ways as they faced off with Walsh on Sunday, Nov. 11 in the NCAA semi-final game. The Lakers dominated the field once again, shutting them out 5-0, and advancing to the Mid-West Regional semifinal game on Friday, Nov. 16. 

The Lakers took some time to warm up in the first half, battling through a tough defensive line. However, the Lakers were able to wear down their opponent, and in the 30th minute, Cook put GVSU on the board. 

Not two minutes later, sophomore Olivia Trombley added another goal. A few minutes before halftime, Walsh had a slip up and ended up scoring on their own goal off a corner kick, leaving the Lakers with a 3-0 lead at halftime. 

The Lakers scored 12 total goals in two games to open up tournament play, a statistic that Hosler is proud of.

“To score 12 goals in the opening weekend of NCAA play, and then going back to last weekend and scoring seven, I think that’s huge,” Hosler said. “In those championship rounds, things are clicking and it’s because we’re executing better and more focused on those minutes.”

Once in the second half, it didn’t take long for Cook to snag another goal for the Lakers, rushing past several defenders to score unassisted in the 46th minute of the game. The final goal was also had by Cook in the 71st minute of the game, also unassisted. The Lakers had a total of 14 shots on goal, allowing only one for Walsh. 

“They take a lot of pride in their defending. Shutouts mean a lot to us, this is, in terms of goals scored, the best attacking offense we’ve played this season,” Hosler said. “We’ve got a lot of capable players, so I think our kids our wired that way. They’re competitive, they want to play their best, and when you do that you’re always going to find ways to score.” 

The Lakers match up with Ferris State for the third time this season in the third round of the NCAA tournament at GVSU on Friday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.

“I mean whoever the opponent is, it’s about focusing on ourselves this week,” Hosler said. “They’re a very good team obviously, anyone still playing in this Round of 16 is capable, and we know that they are, but I think we have some good ideas on how to play on Friday and we’re excited to get back to work on Tuesday. “