After the team’s first loss of the season Wednesday, Oct. 5, the Grand Valley State soccer team bounced back with a two-game sweep over the weekend on the road. The Lakers edged out Walsh 1-0 Friday, Oct. 7 and beat Lake Erie 8-0 Sunday Oct. 9.
In the first game of the weekend, Walsh gave GVSU everything the team could handle, but the Lakers managed to hold on to the one-goal lead.
The lone goal came early in the game from the foot of Marti Corby. Forward Jayma Martin played a cross into the box and after a deflection, the ball landed in Corby’s shooting pocket.
“I was just looking to strike the ball on frame since there was a lot of traffic in the box,” Corby said. “It was exciting to see it hit the back of the net and give us a lift of energy.”
After the goal, the Lakers’ offense was quiet the rest of the game, only generating six shots in the second half. The lead was enough for the stingy GVSU defense that allowed only six shots the entire game.
Offensive production was not an issue for the Lakers against Lake Erie. After a shift in the lineup, GVSU scored eight goals on 23 shots on goal.
“The difference between executing, having courage and urgency to get the goal was the difference between Friday and (Sunday),” said GVSU coach Jeff Hosler. “When we play with those characteristics, we have the capability to put up big numbers.”
Senior Clare Carlson moved to the attacking center mid position and made an immediate impact on the offense.
“We needed somebody that was willing and capable of penetrating out of the midfield position a little bit more, and that is one of her best attributes as an outside back,” Hosler said.
Carlson fired four shots on goal, two of them making it past the goalie, and added an assist on the game.
“Just being in that position higher up the field, I definitely had more attacking opportunities,” Carlson said. “It was fun to have those chances.”
Carlson and Corby, who have played together for four years now, have a certain chemistry on the field that makes them a dangerous duo.
“(Carlson) and Marti (Corby) have a good relationship and understanding where each other are in general,” Hosler said. “This (change) allowed them to play closer together and obviously it paid dividends.”
Carlson was not the only Laker producing in the offensive zone. Gabriella Mencotti continued her offensive success with the team’s first two goals in the first half. In the second half, four different Lakers scored aside from Carlson’s two.
“The players were getting themselves into dangerous spots and wanting the ball,” Hosler said. “When you play that way, good things happen.”
The big win was much needed medicine after a rare home loss against Florida Tech earlier in the week.
“(The win) was just a really good confidence boost,” Carlson said. “I think a lot of girls found that heart and passion for the game again. I think it was a little lost in Wednesday’s game.”
The Lakers will play another two-game series against GLIAC opponents. GVSU will host Ohio Dominican Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. and Findlay Sunday, Oct. 16 at 1 p.m.