Soccer finale to be televised

GVL Archive / Nicole Lamson
Freshman defender Kayla Kimble controls the ball

GVL Archive / Nicole Lamson Freshman defender Kayla Kimble controls the ball

Greg Monahan

Another successful regular season will wrap up for the Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team this weekend, and as the squad gears up for a postseason run, excitement surrounds the team’s regular season finale.

Saturday’s noon matchup between the Lakers and Ferris State University is not only the last of the regular season and Senior Day for five of the team’s graduates-to-be, it also marks the first televised women’s soccer match in the history of the program. Comcast will broadcast the game.

Additionally, it is also the program’s Breast Cancer Awareness Game. The Lakers will be decked out in pink jerseys, and proceeds from promotions during the game will go to Gilda’s Club, a breast cancer support group based in Grand Rapids.

GVSU head coach Dave DiIanni said the team has not had so many things going on in one game in the past, but the women are excited for it.

“This game will have a couple of great meanings,” he said. “We’ll be on TV, and once we see the cameras on the field, the excitement will set in for (the team). But I think since it’s Senior Day, we want to send the senior class out with a win. And then finally it’s our breast cancer awareness game, so we’ll be in pink jerseys.”

Dennis Gamble, an athletics marketing intern at GVSU, said the school has partnered up with Hungry Howie’s, which will offer coupons for a free medium pizza with any five-dollar donation to Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids. He added GVSU Athletics hopes for a season-high in attendance.

“The goal is to get as many people as we can there,” he said. “We haven’t always had the student support that we’d like to, but we’re on TV, and we want a large crowd. Also, we want to show support for Gilda’s Club and hopefully raise a lot of money.”

The Lakers, who clinched a sixth-straight GLIAC championship last weekend, will head into the match-up sporting a 14-1-2 record. They have already beaten the Bulldogs 3-0 in a game in Big Rapids earlier this season.

GVSU Athletic Director Tim Selgo said he looks forward to the Lakers’ first home game on television. The team has earned the honor after years of dominant performances.

“We’ve got the best women’s soccer program in the country coming off of a national championship season, and we want to showcase them and get them as much exposure as we possible can,” he said. “We want to get as many people to see what great Division II women’s soccer is all about and what a great program Dave DiIanni has built at Grand Valley.”

After the noon kickoff against Ferris State, the Lakers will prepare for GLIAC tournament play, which begins Tuesday at home.

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