GVSU women’s soccer sweeps road weekend series against Ashland, Tiffin

GVL / Emily Frye
Ava Cook during the game against Ferris State University on Sunday October 1, 2017.

GVL / Emily Frye Ava Cook during the game against Ferris State University on Sunday October 1, 2017.

D'Angelo Starks

The Grand Valley State women’s soccer team took a road trip to Ohio this weekend to face-off against GLIAC rivals Ashland University and Tiffin University. 

The Lakers started off the weekend strong with their game at Ashland, as GVSU dominated from the opening faceoff to collect a 7-0 victory on the road Friday, Oct. 6.

The Lakers scored their first goal of the match 4:57 into the first half. The goal was scored by senior Gabriella Mencotti, one of four goals for her in the match. The seven goals for GVSU were scored by three different players, as Mencotti led the team with her four, Tara Lierman scored two and Caitlin Rebera scored one. 

GVSU women’s soccer coach Jeff Hosler had much to be excited about from his offense’s performance during Friday’s win. 

“We were mentally prepared for the moment and physically put ourselves in the right spot,” Hosler said. “I think this result is a good example of our potential as a team. It showed our kids what we’ve been pushing them to strive for because we are capable of more than we’ve been able to show to this point.” 

The Lakers dominated this game from the start, and there is one major stat that shows just how dominant the defense was for them. The Lakers’ offense was able to get off 25 shots, 11 on goal, while the defense held Ashland to just three shots, zero on goal, in the entire match.

In terms of pace of play, Hosler believes his team executed their main principles to the best of their abilities.

“Possession is always a staple of our philosophy attacking-wise,” Hosler said. “The more we do that the more we are able to put pressure on opponents and are able to decide when and where we want to attack.” 

After a short break Saturday, Oct. 7, GVSU took on Tiffin Sunday, Oct 8. The Lakers continued their solid stretch of play, as they beat Tiffin 5-0 for the team’s 10th-straight win and shutout. 

While the team didn’t have as dominant of a performance as they did on Friday, the Lakers did outshoot their opponents once again. The Lakers finished with 27 shots, with 17 of them on goal. Tiffin finished the contest with 10 shots and only one of them on goal. 

Mencotti continued her big weekend, finishing the match with a hat trick to bring her weekend total to seven goals, almost doubling her season total of nine coming into the weekend. Lierman scored a goal and assisted on another one scored by Ava Cook.

Mencotti talked about how she was able to accomplish her big scoring weekend. 

“This weekend, we really harped on making sure we are able to spread their defense out,” Mencotti said. “As a team, we did a really good job of making them move and getting out of shape, and that opened up areas for me to get into the box. Plus, I had players playing in great balls, so it was easier to finish.” 

Hosler was clear with his team about the differences between the matches Friday and Sunday and what his team needs to improve on. 

“It comes back to consistency,” Hosler said. “We didn’t repeat Friday’s performance today. Offensively, we did through the first 45 (minutes). Defensively, we were too loose. We didn’t play with much urgency or energy in the back when it came to the defensive side, and that (allowed) Tiffin to have some really dangerous moments.” 

The Lakers (10-2, 5-0 GLIAC) continue their season at home this Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. against Florida Institute of Technology.