Undefeated: GVSU soccer blows out Davenport to cap off perfect season

<p>GVSU Soccer vs. Davenport,10/26/18, GVSU Soccer Filed.  GVL/Katherine Vasile</p>

GVSU Soccer vs. Davenport,10/26/18, GVSU Soccer Filed.  GVL/Katherine Vasile

Kellen Voss

The 1972 Dolphins, the 2007 Patriots, UCLA men’s basketball in the 60’s and UConn women’s basketball in the 2010s: there are few cases in the history of sports where teams have finished their respective regular season undefeated, and the 2018 Grand Valley State soccer team joined that elite group on Friday, Oct. 26 with a 5-0 win against Davenport.

With this win, GVSU finishes the season with an impressive 17-0-1 record, including finishing the season on a 12-game win streak and winning all nine of their match-ups in the GLIAC. With this incredible regular season, the Lakers enter the GLIAC tournament this week as the top seed and will retain home-field advantage for the entirety of the tournament.

GVSU was able to top five goals for the first time since Oct. 3 with a offensive flurry pouring down on the Panthers all game long. Head coach Jeff Hosler credits his team’s excellent spacing and aggressive play on the wing for earning the win.

“Our possession today was really good. We were confident out of the back, and our midfielders did a good job protecting the ball and finding pockets of space,” Hosler said. “We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks to have better wing play, get more aggressive in those wide spaces, and today we put that all together with the right runs.”

The scoring came from all over the roster for the Lakers, with Ava Cook chipping in two goals, one in the 13th minute and one in the 54th minute. Tara Lierman and Riko Sagara found the back of the net in the 37th and 58th minute, respectively, with Darline Radamaker also scoring her first goal of the season in the 60th minute.

Sagara not only scored in the contest, but also earned her 14th and 15th assists in the contest, securing her as the leader in assists among all DII women’s soccer players.

The win against Davenport puts the Lakers in a position to dominate the GLIAC tournament this week, as Hosler is not only proud of what his team has accomplished, but also hopes the players realize how good this team can potentially be. 

“We put ourselves in a really good position to enter the postseason,” Hosler said. “I encouraged them to spend the weekend to reflect back on some things that face us in the postseason, and understand that being committed is an important piece of that, because we got a big week coming up.”

With as dominant as this team has been this season, it’s safe to say that anything less than a victory in the GLIAC tournament would be a disappointing finish to the season. But with as high this team’s chemistry is, Hosler believes that they have the mentality to make a deep run, and the relationships they’ve established as teammates and young women can help them get there.

“Our team chemistry has been great all year, the way these kids keep working and building relationships,” Hosler said. “We’re such a young team that our seniors deserve a lot of credit for helping this young group build these relationships themselves, and then encouraging relationships with others. To finally score a bunch of goals should give us some additional confidence that can help us move in the right direction.”

GVSU soccer looks to remain undefeated in their match-up with Purdue Northwest on Tuesday, Oct. 30 to start the GLIAC tournament. The game at the GVSU Soccer Field is set to start at 3 p.m.