No. 5 ranked GVSU soccer shuts down No. 18 Quincy 2-0

GVL / Emily Frye
Dani Johnson during the game against Cedarville on Friday September 8, 2017.

GVL / Emily Frye Dani Johnson during the game against Cedarville on Friday September 8, 2017.

Robbie Triano

After a six-game stretch of playing at home, the No. 5 ranked Grand Valley State women’s soccer team (7-2, 2-0 GLIAC) hit the road to Romeoville, Illinois, to face No. 18 Quincy University (6-2 overall). 

With stellar defense and efficient offensive execution, the Lakers collected their seventh-consecutive win during the team’s 2-0 victory over non-conference opponent Quincy. 

The Lakers dominated on the defensive end, as the team held Quincy to zero shots on goal, compared to GVSU’s eight. Head coach Jeff Hosler credited the entire team’s effort for the game’s result.

“(The 2-0 result) was a little bit of the defense stopping the attack and the offense controlling the possession,” Hosler said. “Our touch, decision-making and execution in possession was as good as it’s been all year in the first half.

“At the same time, when we lost (the possession of the ball) or had to deal with clearances, our midfielders and backfield were excellent in winning it right back.”

Only 10 minutes into the contest, GVSU forward Tracey McCoy picked off a pass along Quincy’s backline, which led to a breakaway with only the Quincy goalkeeper in front. McCoy won the battle, tacking on the first goal of the game and her second goal of the season.

Hosler praised McCoy for giving the team the lead that early in the contest against a nationally ranked opponent.

“That opening goal was a huge lift,” Hosler said. “We were playing well to that point but needed a special individual effort. Tracey gave us that moment.”

Led by GVSU senior midfielder Dani Johnson, the Lakers were able to take control of the game in terms of possession and clearing the ball in the GVSU backfield. Hosler had few select words to describe Johnson’s performance.

“Dani was phenomenal today,” Hosler said. “Everything that went through her made us as a team better.”

In the 58′ minute, senior Gabriella Mencotti was fouled while attempting to produce offense in Quincy’s box, resulting in a penalty kick. The pressure didn’t falter the veteran senior, as Mencotti shot past the Quincy goalkeeper to bring the score to its 2-0 final result. The goal was Mencotti’s ninth of the season, the most on the team and in the GLIAC.

“The second goal gave us a little more comfortable distance,” Hosler said. “And that was really important against a Quincy team that is good at manufacturing goals.”

The win was the Lakers’ seventh-straight win and shutout by goalkeeper Jennifer Steinaway. After the team’s 0-2 season start during a trip to Louisville, Kentucky, Hosler believes the team has finally found their groove, but there is still progress to be done.

“We have produced some solid results over this stretch, but we have plenty of things to work on,” Hosler said. “While we are playing much better, there are still occasional lapses or wrong decisions out of the backfield. We still need to capitalize on our goal-scoring chances at a much higher rate.

“Our time of possession has seen some very good moments, but we are nowhere near our standard of success we have seen in the past. A full 90 minutes has still yet to be unattained.”

The Lakers will look to capture their eighth-straight victory against Ferris State (6-4, 2-0 GLIAC) at home Sunday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m.