GVSU soccer suffers first loss to Florida Tech 2-1

GVL / Archive
Taylor Callen

GVL / Archive Taylor Callen

Beau Troutman

For the first time since Oct. 17, 2014, the Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team lost a game on its home field. The No. 1 Lakers were upset by No. 14 Florida Tech 2-1 Wednesday, Oct. 5.

In the first half, the Lakers were in unfamiliar territory. Florida Tech University rattled off more shots on goal than the Lakers in the first 45 minutes.

“The game was wide open, and I think that’s why there were so many scoring chances and shots for both teams,” said GVSU coach Jeff Hosler. “I think both teams were stretched more than they would have liked to have been defensively.”

With less than 15 minutes to play in the half, the Lakers caught a break when a Panthers’ defender deflected the ball into their own net.

GVSU forward Kendra Stauffer broke through the back line and had only the goalie to beat. Stauffer’s first shot was stopped by the Panthers’ goalie, but the rebound was deflected into the net by a Panthers’ defender.

The Lakers started the second half with a one-goal lead, but Florida Tech quickly answered with an equalizer less than 10 minutes after intermission. The Panthers crossed a ball in from the right side, and the charging forward buried the cross in the back of the net. The goal broke GVSU’s scoreless streak of 611 minutes.

Just five minutes later, Florida Tech had another scoring opportunity stopped by the right goal post.

“Our possession was not great today,” said GVSU’s Clare Carlson. “We were caught on our heels a little bit.”

Scrambling, the Lakers found some offensive success after clearing the ball out of the defensive zone. GVSU composed five minutes of strong attack, including six corner kicks and a shot off the crossbar, but were unable to capitalize on the opportunities.

“We have had two matches this season where we have played with a real sense of urgency,” Hosler said. “The rest of it, we‘ve played very complacent and gone through the motions.”

With less than four minutes in the game, Florida Tech’s Keira McCarthy stole a pass from GVSU goalie Jennifer Steinaway, gathered the ball and took a high shot. The shot slipped through Steinaway’s fingers and rolled across the goal line, giving the Panthers a one-goal lead with three minutes left in the game.

GVSU hurried an attack, but the Lakers’ offense ran out of time. The late goal was enough for the Panthers to complete the upset.

“It’s definitely a wake-up call,” Carlson said. “We had a great weekend, but that doesn’t give us any excuse to get complacent and come out here and think we are going to win.”

The Lakers will need to quickly recover from the rare loss to get ready for a two-game series this weekend.

“We need focus on us and what we do,” Carlson said. “We need to play to our standard.”

GVSU will travel to Ohio to face off against two GLIAC opponents. The Lakers will play Walsh Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m., followed by a visit to Lake Erie Sunday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m.

Hosler is looking forward to see how his team rebounds.

“Let’s see how much heart they have,” he said.