Corby develops into star for GVSU soccer

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
Marti Corby

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Marti Corby

Kate Nuyen

Marti Corby started playing soccer at 4 years old on a Mini Kickers team coached by her mom, Julie, who apparently knew a thing or two about eluding defenders and scoring goals, because since then –  whether it’s attributed to coaching, skill or hard work – there has been nothing “mini” about Marti’s game.

Corby later moved on to a much more competitive playing field at Forest Hills Central High School, where the awards began to pile up. She was a two-time MIHSSCA Division 1 All-State honoree (2012-2013), and eventually the prized midfielder made her way to Grand Valley State University.

As a freshman, Corby made the most of her 18 starts. She was named to the Daktronics, Inc. All-America First Team, NSCAA All-America Second Team, NSCAA All-Midwest Region First Team, All-GLIAC First Team and All-GLIAC Tournament Team. She had 12 goals, the second most on GVSU.

“To be successful it takes not just practice with the team, but individual work,” she said. “It’s going to the field on the off days to practice dribbling. It’s what you’re doing when you aren’t with the team.”

Corby’s hard work was starting to pay off, and it showed on college soccer’s biggest stage when she scored the game-winning goal in the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship game.

She may be a sophomore, but Corby is seen as a leader by her coaches and teammates. GVSU coach Jeff Hosler attributes a lot of her leadership skills to being a student of the game, and said he expects Corby will continue to grow in the coming years.

“I see her falling even more in to a leadership role as she continues to grow older in the program,” Hosler said. “She has a bright future in the program.”

Hosler said Corby’s strong offensive presence can be chalked up to her ball-striking skills and ability to be in the right position on the field. Senior defender Juane Odendaal also complimented the sophomore, saying that Corby’s leadership comes down to effort and a desire to finish.

All of those traits certainly appeared to be on display Saturday. No. 4 GVSU was coming off its first loss in 27 games, but had a chance to bounce back with a road contest at rival Ferris State University.

“We had just lost, and that was the first time I had experienced a loss while playing for Grand Valley State University,” said Corby, who had not scored a goal in GVSU’s first four games this year. “I knew we had to win and I was going to do whatever I could to get our team on a winning streak.”

Corby scored all three goals for the Lakers in the 3-2 victory, earning her yet another accolade: the GLIAC Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week award.

Corby is hoping her hard work continues to pay off, but she’s focused on bigger goals: such as an undefeated record in conference play. She and her teammates play a pair of GLIAC foes this weekend in Ohio at Lake Erie College and the University of Findlay.