GV soccer wins physical game for first matchup of season


GVL / Jonathan Lantiegne

Josh Carlson, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team (1-0) kicked off their season opener at home against Northern Michigan University (0-1). GVSU came out with a dominate performance, proving exactly why they are ranked number one in the nation after the long wait to play.

“It feels so good,” Cook said. “I know for a fact that there were definitely some excited nerves from everyone, rightfully so, we haven’t played in 15 months and this is the first game that really counts for something. It was great to be out on the field as a new group and see things finally be put together that we have been working on for so long.”

Showing exactly what they have been working on, the Lakers quickly broke the game open in the first half with a Cook goal assisted by Catie Baron. The Wildcats then tightened up defensively and were pressing the Lakers heavily, but senior defender Sydney O’Donnel found the seam in the defense with an assist to junior Greta Deloach in the 30thminute to make it 2-0 before the first half came to a close.

Towards the end of the first half, the Wildcats tried to get physical and built their penalties up, ending the game with eleven to the Lakers three. Coach Jeff Hosler could be heard from the stands requesting for the refs to get the game under control. Junior forward Greta Deloach was on the receiving end of a tackle late in the second half while fighting for the ball. She was then carried off the field with an unknown injury and did not return to the game.

“It’s just frustrating,” Hosler said. “You’ve gone 15 months looking to get to get to a game. The first thing you shouldn’t have to be worried about, is keeping your players safe, and I thought there were a lot of malicious tackles in the game.”

As the second half began, things got lopsided in the Lakers favor with two quick Ava Cook goals to get her the hat trick for the game and make it 4-0.

“It’s never surprising,” Hosler said. “She is a kid that just always works, she’s always looking to get better. For all the success that she has, for all the accolades, she continues to be humble and comes right back to work the next day. It showed today that she’s top class, she’s currently the leading active goal scorer in all of the NCAA and I think she showed today why.”

After Cook completing her hat trick, the Lakers continued to pour on the pressure with three more goals coming from sophomore Kennedy Bearden, freshman Taylor Reid and sophomore Chantel Carranza. The finished the game beating the Wildcats 7-0 and starting off the season 1-0.

While fans have not been able to attend games, good weather and playing outdoors permitted for parents and students to be able to attend the game and cheer on the Lakers at home. Cook said that the energy was definitely brought up due to being able to play with an audience.

“It was so nice,” Cook said. “It was so refreshing to have our fans, and have our parents be here. Even though we can’t really talk to them, it’s still nice to have them here, it’s so much better to play in front of a group of people than completely silent. Our parents go all out, they’re incredibly supportive of us and they come in numbers, and we couldn’t be more thankful for that.”