Women’s soccer team gets off to a hot start against Ashland and Ohio Dominican

GVL / Allison Young
Sophomore Forward Juane Odendaal looks over her shoulder at a Ashland Defender closing in

Allison Young

GVL / Allison Young Sophomore Forward Juane Odendaal looks over her shoulder at a Ashland Defender closing in

Tate Baker

Grand Valley State University’s women’s soccer team kicked off the GLIAC season this past weekend as they saw visiting Ashland come to Allendale on a mild Friday night.

Following a pair of weekend wins, the Lakers (6-0-1, 2-0 GLIAC) are a few steps closer to their top goal.

“Our No. 1 goal is to be GLIAC champions,” said head coach Dave Dilanni. “Its really important for us to get started out on a good note.”

Senior keeper Charlie Parise had another outstanding game as she netted yet another shut out for the Lakers on Friday night, adding on to her record for most shutouts in NCAA Division II history.
“She’s a beast,” said senior Kayla Addison when referring to Parise. “That’s all there really is to say about our goalie.”

Parise could have brought a lawn chair to the opening GLIAC match as she saw just one shot on goal throughout the night, one she sent sailing wide of the posts. It’s safe to say that the Lakers defense is firing on all cylinders early in the season.

“Communication, that’s really the key for our defense,” said sophomore Juane Odendaal. “Reading the play, passing which leads to scoring all starts at communicating with one another.”

The Lakers were back in action Sunday afternoon as they took on the Ohio Dominican Panthers at home. A strong first half is an understatement as they dominated the stat sheet having 12 shots on goal compared to Ohio Dominican’s five shots.

“We created a lot of chances up top,” Addison said. “We don’t get those chances unless our defense plays as well as they did.”

The Panthers’ speed showed early in this one when they had a quick surge within the first minute as a developing play led to a shot that went wide right of the goal.

“A defensive breakdown is what led to that chance they had in the opening minutes,” Odendaal said. “Their quick up top, and when we lost communication, they had a chance to break us down.”

The Lakers got on the board at the 33-minute mark as freshman Casey McMillan set up what may have been the play of the day to find a striking Kayla Addison for the opening goal.

“There’s a lot of chemistry between us forwards,” Addison said. “we know what too look for when the scoring opportunity arises.”

The Laker’s opening GLIAC match resembled a track meet as they matched Ohio Dominican’s threat play by play. Defenders Odendal and Alyssa Wesley kept the pressure off of senior keeper Chelsea Parise throughout the entire game.

“Juane has been doing a great job on defense along with Alyssa,” DiIanni said. “She is extremely athletic, its going to be great to see her develop as a player here at Grand Valley.”

Katie Klunder provided a spark off the Lakers bench as she was among all the action throughout the day.

“Katie is a ball of energy” DiIanni said. “She really changes the dynamic of the game and provides a great spark for us.”

Addison notched another goal off of a breakaway in the final minutes to seal the deal for the Lakers, tallying her second goal of the day.

The Lakers continue there season this upcoming Friday as they take on rival Saginaw Valley State.

[email protected]