GVSU soccer takes down rival Ferris State 1-0

GVL / Emily Frye
Ava Cook during the game against Ferris State University on Sunday October 1, 2017.

GVL / Emily Frye Ava Cook during the game against Ferris State University on Sunday October 1, 2017.

Arpan Lobo

Rivalry games always have an added edge.

Playing host to Ferris State, the No. 5 Grand Valley State women’s soccer team held on to grab a 1-0 victory Sunday, Oct. 1. The win was the team’s eighth consecutive victory, placing the Lakers alone in first place in the GLIAC. The Lakers improved their record to 8-2-0 and kept their eighth consecutive shutout.

The opening 45 minutes were a physical affair, as both teams were firmly dug into the game.  

The Lakers opened the scoring in the 13’ minute, as junior midfielder Tara Lierman was able to score her fourth goal of the season. Freshman winger Ava Cook beat her defender on the left and eventually found Lierman with a cross. Lierman made the most of the good service, finishing from inside the six-yard box with a right-footed tap in.

The rest of the half remained cagey. The Lakers found most of their success playing through Cook, who had the better of her defender the majority of the half.  

In the 33’ minute, Cook again posed a threat to the Bulldog backline after beating a defender before being fouled inside the 18-yard box to draw a penalty. Freshman midfielder Corey Sawall was unable to convert the penalty, pushing her shot effort wide of the net. 

The second half was even more frantic, as FSU fought to get back in the game. After absorbing some early pressure from the Lakers, the Bulldogs began to create their own chances. In the 63’ minute, GVSU goalkeeper Jennifer Steinaway had to scramble to keep FSU out of the net, seeing the ball roll just wide after a chaotic scramble in the box.    

Moments later, Cook again drew another penalty. However, the Lakers were once again unable to capitalize on the opportunity, as senior forward Gabriella Mencotti saw her penalty saved by FSU goalkeeper Grace Kraft.

After that, the Bulldogs grew into the game. GVSU was still able to create chances but had to absorb more pressure from the FSU attack. Steinaway was forced to make a great save in the 82’ minute following an FSU free kick. Despite the chances for the Bulldogs, the Lakers were able to secure their eighth consecutive win.  

Despite the win, Laker head coach Jeff Hosler was frustrated with his team’s performance.

“I thought our decision-making and tempo were too slow,” Hosler said. “I thought (FSU) did a good job in their shape to dictate our decisions. We became very predictable. In the first half, we had a lot of possession, but that didn’t really get us a lot of places.”

Shannon Quinn, a senior defender for the Lakers, also thought that despite the win, the team still has room to grow.

“In the box on both ends,” Quinn said. “Offensively, finishing your chances and getting much better crosses out. Defensively, we need to be dominant, touch tight and not allow the chances that we did.”

The missed chances came down to a mix of tepid finishing and good goalkeeper play. Cook, who drew two penalties that were ultimately wasted, thought the Lakers had to do better in attack.

“Whether it’s the cross gets played right to the keeper or the fact that we can’t finish it, it just kind of gives you more motivation to get a better cross off next time and just keep working as hard as you can to get it away from her and finish,” Cook said.  

The Lakers will look ahead to their next opponent, Ashland University. GVSU will travel to Ashland having already defeated the Eagles once this season, a 3-0 non-conference victory Friday, Sept. 15. Hosler is hopeful the team will improve on its effort against FSU.

“We’re fortunate that it was good enough,” Hosler said. “While we continued to bend, we didn’t break and concede a goal.”