Lakers begin season with pair of draws

GVL / Rane Martin
The Grand Valley State University soccer team practices on the turf field. The Lady Lakers tied Minnesota State Mankato on Sunday.

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GVL / Rane Martin The Grand Valley State University soccer team practices on the turf field. The Lady Lakers tied Minnesota State Mankato on Sunday.

The Grand Valley State University Lakers had two frustrating but ultimately rewarding games on the road this weekend.

On Friday, the team took on No.2 Winona State University for its first game of the season. The first half was solid, with great defense on both sides keeping any goals from being scored, despite GV taking 12 shots on goal.

The Lakers came back from half time with a more offensive and determined style of play and, with 28 minutes to spare, freshman Charlie Socia scored a stunning goal from a corner kick.

“I’m not sure exactly what happened after that goal,” said GVSU head coach Dave Dilanni. “We kind of laid back and stopped being aggressive. We got a little bit unorganized defensively and gave away a couple of set pieces like a corner and a free kick, and Winona capitalized on that and got the tying goal.”

The goal brought the two teams into overtime, but the score never changed, as the Lakers and Warriors finished the game in a 1-1 draw.

“Winona State plays a very defensive style, they’re very structured and organized,” Dilanni said. “We need to do a better job of playing with a little more energy and playing a little faster, but it was a great first game.”

It is clear that the players, too, remain confident in their ability to win, and look upon their first game as a reminder that the competition can sometimes be tough.

“We came out on Friday against Winona State with composure and energy,” said junior Chelsea Parise. “The passing was sharp, the runs were on point, and everyone seemed to be clicking well. We had great looks and crosses into the box; we just couldn’t get on the end of them to get the winning goal.”

From there, the Lakers traveled to Minnesota State University-Mankato for their Sunday game against the Mavericks. Like the previous game, the defense on both teams was admirable. GVSU took seven shots on goal in the first half while Minnesota State made eight, but none of them could quite seem to find the net. At half time, the teams remained tied at 0-0.

Once again, the Lakers emerged from their break more aggressive and focused and GVSU junior Kayla Addison managed to score from a corner kick with 19:22 remaining in the second half. However, the Lakers were unable to prevent Minnesota State midfielder Brianne West from scoring with 7:42 left in the game, tying the teams at 1-1 and bringing them into overtime.

The Lakers made four shots on goal, in both overtime and double overtime, but did not manage to score. The game ended with a 1-1 tie.

However, the Lakers are not discouraged in the slightest, and they look forward to improving in their upcoming games.

“Both games were against good opponents that were highly ranked teams and they were a good way to test what our team is made of during our first weekend,” said junior Alyssa Mira. “We had several opportunities to score in both games, now it’s just a matter of capitalizing on them and getting more goals.”

The Lakers next game will take place on Sept. 11 at 12:00 p.m. against Saginaw Valley State University. It will be their first home game of the season.

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