Friday night futbol – Monday, Oct. 3

Josh Peick

Josh Peick, Oct. 3

On Friday, Sept. 30, Lubbers Stadium was packed with loyal Lakers’ fans, but not for the football team.

The Grand Valley State women’ soccer team faced off against Tiffin at Lubbers Stadium for Friday Night Fútbol. The Lakers (9-0-1) trounced Tiffin 10-0 in the first women’s soccer game at Lubbers Stadium. Following Friday’s win, GVSU completed another shutout in a 5-0 win over Ashland.

In Friday’s game, the Lakers attempted to break the single-game attendance record in NCAA Division II women’s soccer history. The attendance at the game was 2,893, short of the record set at 3,227. While they didn’t break the national record, the Lakers broke the record for most attendance in school history by over 2,000 fans, and also set a GLIAC record.

“On a rainy Friday night, to have that many people to come out and support our program and support our kids is pretty special,” said GVSU coach Jeff Hosler.

GVSU put on a show for the fans, scoring a total of 10 goals, seven of them in the second half. For the first 15 minutes of the game, the Tiffin goalie made three diving saves to keep the Lakers off the board.

Jayma Martin finally sneaked one past the goalie, and the crowd went wild. Vuvuzelas, which were handed out before the game, were blaring, and the stadium was loud for the rest of the half.

“It was super cool,” Mencotti said. “Everyone was cheering, the horns were going, and it was a really cool atmosphere to play in.”

Mencotti made the most of her opportunity playing in front of the large Lubbers crowd. She netted four goals on the night.

“It helped that Jayma (Martin) and Kenny (Stauffer) were brilliant on the wings in the first half, stretching (Tiffin) out,” Hosler said. “When they are doing that, it frees up more space for Gabby Mencotti to get in.”

Mencotti was not done scoring after the Tiffin game. After a slow start for GVSU in Sunday’s match against Ashland, Mencotti opened up the scoring on a tap-in shot after cleaning up on her own rebound.

“Ashland put us under pressure early, and we didn’t respond well to it,” Hosler said. “Our saving grace today was how effective our subs were off the bench in the first half.”

With less than two minutes left in the first half, substitute Lindsay Ebeling scored to give the Lakers a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.

“The bench came in and really brought up the energy for us,” Stauffer said.

The Lakers piled on the goals in the second half, two coming from Stauffer and another from Mencotti. Mencotti now has 12 goals on the year, a team and GLIAC high. She also leads the conference in points (31) and shots (64).

While the offense produced a high output of goals, the defense continued to dominate, extending the team’s shutout streak to six games.

“They are reading the game really well,” Hosler said. “What has become our starting back four are all highly intelligent kids. They are not just good athletes with ability on the ball, but they read the game really well. They understand how to defend as a group.”

The Lakers’ defense will have to keep up the intensity in the team’s next game in a ranked matchup with No. 14 ranked Florida Tech. The Lakers will host the Ohio Dominican Panthers Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.