Champs: GVSU soccer beats trio of conference foes en route to GLIAC title

GVSU Girl’s Soccer Team facing Purdue Northwest in the GLIAC Tournament on October 30th, 2018.  GVL / Emily Modloff

GVSU Girl’s Soccer Team facing Purdue Northwest in the GLIAC Tournament on October 30th, 2018.  GVL / Emily Modloff

Kady Volmering

The Grand Valley State women’s soccer team dominated the GLIAC tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 30, Friday, Nov. 2 and Sunday, Nov. 4 to win the GLIAC championship, defeating Purdue-Northwest 6-1 in the quarterfinal, Ashland 3-0 in the semis and Ferris State 4-0 in the title game. 

Though the Lakers were ahead for the majority of the match against UPN on Tuesday, they seemed to be off-beat compared to their usual intense style of play. Head coach Jeff Hosler said that the team’s performance showed a lack of respect for the game and for their opponent, and was looking for a complete turnaround for Friday’s game.

“Post season play is going to be whatever you make it, and today was a really good example of that,” Hosler said. “Purdue made something happen, they created one chance and they scored because they believed. We had opportunities much earlier in the game, frequently, to take any of that belief out of them, and we didn’t.”

Friday’s game was the third time the Lakers faced Ashland. Their first match-up ended in a draw and the second ended up with a 3-0 win for GVSU. The Lakers created a sense of Deja Vu on Friday, as they beat the No. 5 ranked Eagles again by the same score.

Ava Cook notched her 15th and 16th goals of the season in the contest, scoring in the 18th and 52nd minutes. Madeline Becker also found the back of the net in the 26th minute.

“The whole point of our possession is to try and wear teams out, then they have to go to the bench and then go to the bench again,” Hosler said. “When those things happen, we tend to get a lot more favorable match up. Today I thought we did a really good job finishing our early chances, and that really set the tone for the match.”

After beating the Eagles on Friday, the Lakers have their eyes on the GLIAC prize, and look to control the pace in the final against FSU.

“Our main goal for Sunday is to just play our style,” Hosler said. “Dictating our style is really important. Playing the way we’re capable of, make the adjustments we need to against our opponent but still keep it in our framework.”

The GVSU soccer team played that style well on Sunday, beating the Bulldogs 4-0. It was perhaps the most efficient game of the season for the Laker offense, as they scored four times on a mere 18 shots on goal.

Despite the stout Bulldog defense, the Lakers were able to score their first three goals in a span of three minutes, as Raemi DeWent, Riko Sagara and Cook each scored in the 27th, 28th and 29th minutes of the match, respectively. Caitie Baron also found the back of the net in the 84th minute to put the nail in the coffin and secure a GLIAC tournament win.

Hosler couldn’t be more impressed with how his team played in the championship match, as they essentially had the Bulldogs warm up the bus before the second half even started.

“To play the way we did in the first half, capitalize the way we did on our first three chances, to really put the game away in the first 45 minutes,” Hosler said. “It was really impressive, as good a team as Ferris State is.”

With the GLIAC Tournament all wrapped, the Lakers shift their focus to the NCAA tournament where they will compete as a one seed. Hosler wants to see his team played with the same focus they played with in the GLIAC tournament final.

“There’s still times the game gets stretched, and just understanding when the game gets stretched is important,” Hosler said. “We’re in total control of getting back into control, we got to receive balls and collect balls better, and just having some more composure in some tough moments. But I thought we did that well today,”

While the opponent for the Lakers is yet to be determined, they are locked into the top seed in the NCAA tournament, they will host the eight seed in the bracket later this week.