Soccer win streak hits six

The team walks out onto the field together just before the start of the second half of their game against Northwood University last Saturday.

Rane Martin

The team walks out onto the field together just before the start of the second half of their game against Northwood University last Saturday.

Greg Monahan

It has been a tale of two seasons for the Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team. After an early season tie and a loss to Northern Michigan University, the Lakers have turned the season around.

The Lakers (11-1-1, 8-1-1 GLIAC) kicked off their weekend with a romp over Northwood University, notching eight first-half goals and cruising their way to a 10-0 victory. The ten goals were the most the team had scored in a game this season, surpassing its previous best of seven against Lake Erie College. GVSU scored six of their eight goals in the first 20 minutes, including Kayla Addison’s two consecutive goals just three minutes apart.

Sunday featured a matchup against Saginaw Valley State University, a team that gave the Lakers major trouble earlier in the year, battling to a 2-2 tie. The two goals are the most GVSU has given up so far this year and comprise the majority of goals allowed for a team that has only surrendered 3 on the season. However, Sunday’s matchup gave the Cardinals much less to get excited about as the Lakers stormed to a 3-0 lead in the first half hour and held it for the rest of the game.

Outscoring opponents 32-0 in its last seven games, GVSU head coach Dave DiIanni said he feels his team is healthy and has hit its groove.

“This has probably been our worst year in terms of injuries, but that’s hopefully gone,” he said. “We’re getting there and that’s a key to our depth, having our players ready to go. And our urgency and passion has been great. Early on it was kind of businesslike but our seniors have been leading with their energy level, Jaleen (Dingledine), Erin (Mruz), Kristen (Eible), and the rest of our seniors have lead the way.”

The team’s seasonal highlight has been its play on defense. The Lakers have not allowed a goal in any of their wins year, and their plus-46 goal differential is a light-year ahead of anyone else in the GLIAC, with Tiffin University’s plus-14 as the second best in the conference.

Sophomore goalkeeper Chelsea Parise has been the stalwart on the Lakers’ defense, starting in 11 of the team’s shutouts this season and stopping 93 percent of the shots she has faced. She said the team’s chemistry and cohesiveness are the reasons for its lockdown defense.

“We are very tight on the back line,” she said. “Communication is key for our team, letting each other know who’s stepping up and dropping back, and that’s been the most important thing. We all play well with each other and feed off each other very well.”

Since the loss to Northern Michigan, the team has rattled off six straight wins, all of them shutouts. The team has won six straight and scored 32 goals in that span, with Northwood University and Saginaw Valley State University as its most recent victims.

The loss ended the Lakers’ 65-game regular season winning streak, but GVSU has dominated each team they’ve played since, never playing a game closer than 3-0.

Junior Kayla Klosterman said the early season loss may have been good for the team.

“The loss kind of shocked us,” she said. “We realized that we weren’t invincible and we came out and tried to be much more aggressive in our offense and we’ve been scoring more goals.”

The Lakers will get a shot at redemption against the Wildcats Friday at 4 p.m. at home before finishing up the weekend against Michigan Technological University Sunday at noon.

[email protected]