GVSU soccer sweeps road weekend series, claims GLIAC regular season title

GVL / Courtesy - GLIAC

GVL / Courtesy – GLIAC

Robbie Triano

Another year, another GLIAC regular season title. 

Taking an eight-hour trip up north, the No. 3-ranked Grand Valley State soccer team (15-2, 9-0 GLIAC) didn’t come up empty-handed, claiming their 13th-straight GLIAC regular season title during the team’s 2-0 victory over Michigan Technological University Friday, Oct. 20, and 3-1 win over Northern Michigan University Sunday, Oct. 22. 

With the win over Michigan Tech, the Lakers clinched the GLIAC regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the GLIAC Tournament, which gives GVSU home-field advantage in the final two rounds of the tournament. The GLIAC Tournament begins Tuesday, Oct. 31 and goes until Sunday, Nov. 5.

In the first game against the Huskies of Michigan Tech (5-8-1, 2-5-1 GLIAC), freshman Ava Cook opened up the scoring for the Lakers in the ninth minute after receiving an assist from Tara Lierman to defeat the Huskies keeper. The score is Cook’s ninth of the season, and she has scored at least one goal in five consecutive matches. 

Although the Lakers posted 10 shots during the first half, Cook’s score was the lone goal of the half, giving the Lakers an early 1-0 lead. Michigan Tech goalkeeper Amanda Young finished the first half with seven saves. 

Just minutes after the start of the second half, senior forward Sara Stevens gave the Lakers their second goal of the match after a pass from senior forward Tracey McCoy. The goal was Stevens’ second of the season. 

The two goals were all the Lakers needed to defeat Michigan Tech 2-0, collect their 14th-straight win and clinch the GLIAC regular season title. GVSU outshot Michigan Tech 18-5, a statistic that head coach Jeff Hosler can credit to his back line.

“We did a very good job defensively throughout the contest,” Hosler said. “The only shots we faced were deep outside the box.”

On Saturday, the Lakers weren’t scheduled to play a game, so instead they made the trip to Marquette, Michigan, to watch the GVSU men’s and women’s cross country teams compete in the GLIAC Championships. Luckily for the Lakers, they saw both teams capture the GLIAC titles and be awarded their regular season trophies. 

“We were really fortunate to be able to get into Marquette just in time to watch the two teams win their GLIAC Championships,” Hosler said. “It was a long trip, but we had beautiful weather the entire time.”

During their final day of the road trip, the Lakers faced off against the Wildcats of Northern Michigan University (3-10-2, 2-5-2 GLIAC) in Marquette. Neither team had success early on in the first half until GVSU freshman defender Makenna Schoolman scored her first career goal in the 35th minute off a corner kick assist by freshman Cecilia Steinwascher. Minutes later, Steinwascher scored a goal of her own after a crossing pass from midfielder Corey Sawall, giving the Lakers a 2-0 lead into halftime. 

With a sizeable lead heading into the second half, GVSU decided to remove the starters for their young bench unit. Hosler was pleased with the second unit’s production in the contest.

“Our bench really stepped up and played a huge role in this victory,” Hosler said. “Not only did they get on the score sheet, but they impacted the match in all phases.”

However, Northern Michigan’s Aimee Colla scored the first goal in the second half, cutting GVSU’s lead to within one in the 69th minute. However, that would be the Wildcats’ last goal, as GVSU sophomore midfielder Mia Gale had a perfect post run to find a crossing pass by senior Gabriella Mencotti for Gale’s first goal of the season in the 75th minute. The goal gave GVSU its 3-1 final score to wrap up the road weekend.

The Lakers (15-2, 9-0 GLIAC) will face Ferris State on the road in the team’s last regular season contest Friday, Oct. 27. With the GLIAC Tournament starting Tuesday, Oct. 31, Hosler wants his team to focus on one specific trait until then.

“Consistency,” Hosler said. “It’s been a long time since each player brought their same in the same contest.”