Soccer returns from UP victorious

GVL Archive
Junior forward Maria Brown settles the ball during a past match.

GVL Archives

GVL Archive Junior forward Maria Brown settles the ball during a past match.

Joe Maher-Edgin

A trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula might seem like a heavy task for any GLIAC team facing Michigan Technological University or Northern Michigan University, but the Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team clinched a 5-0 victory against Northern Michigan (8-4-3, 6-4-2 GLIAC) Friday before taking a 3-0 victory against Michigan Tech (3-8-1, 5-8-1 GLIAC) on Sunday.

Fifth-year senior midfielder Erin Mruz has made every trip to the U.P. while playing for GVSU (13-0-2, 12-0 GLIAC). She said the trip can be a challenge without the right mentality.

“It’s hard to drive eight hours one way to play a couple of games, but our goal has always been to leave with two wins and just get back to our home field,” she said. “This year we were very prepared and we even enjoyed the trip.”

GVSU head coach Dave Dilanni said a lot of teams speak about the U.P. trip negatively in terms of weather and distance, but not his team.

“We speak about it in positive terms … enjoying the sights and seeing different parts of the state,” he said. “Our girls have been very professional and focused this trip, and we played very well against both teams.”

The Lakers first traveled to Marquette to face Northern Michigan in their second and final regular season meeting. Last season, GVSU’s only loss of the season came while away at Northern Michigan.

Junior forward Kayla Addison opened the scoring for GVSU with an early first half shot assisted by Mruz. Addison continued to be involved in all the goals except the last, tallying two goals and two assists Friday. Senior midfielder Jessica Trost found the net from five yards out for the second Laker goal. Mruz, Addison and freshman forward Juane Odendaal all tallied goals in the second half.

“The conditions were not good playing in the wind and rain, but we actually proved some mental toughness as a team being able to beat Northern on their home field after losing there last year,” Mruz said.

GVSU then traveled to Houghton to face the Huskies on Sunday, where forward Ashley Botts scored two goals. The junior’s first came in the first half off a pass from sophomore Tayler Ward. Addison echoed Botts two minutes later after rebounding her own missed shot on goal. In the 59th minute, Botts added her second goal after a precise pass from Addison. It was the fourth game this season in which Botts scored multiple goals.

The Laker defense was ever present in both games, allowing just a single shot in the first half against the Huskies and three total shots against the Wildcats.

GVSU returns home this weekend to host Tiffin University on Friday at 7 p.m. and the University of Findlay on Sunday at noon.

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