GV soccer opens GLIAC Conference play with two wins, extending their record to 5-0


GVL / Jonathan Lantiegne

Josh Carlson, Staff Writer

Heading into the opening weekend of GLIAC play, the Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team is 4-0 and ranked no. 2 in the nation. After a long road trip to Missouri last weekend, the Lakers made another long trek to the Upper Peninsula where they played their first two GLIAC opponents, the Northern Michigan Wildcats and Michigan Tech Huskies.

Cecilia Steinwascher, a senior for the Lakers using her extra COVID-19 year of eligibility, is excited to be back to normal and to conference play in her final season wearing a Laker uniform.

“It feels really good,” Steinwascher said. “Coming off last season, COVID-19 kind of hit us and ruined our chance of winning a regular season title but, we bounced back with the conference tournament title. This year is a good fresh start, and it’s good having a new voice (Jim Conlon) and a couple of girls needed it and are shining. I’m really excited for this season.”

With the Lakers being ranked no.1 in the preseason GLIAC, they will have a target on their back from teams who look to take down the Lakers on top. This is expected from Steinwascher, a veteran on the team, who has dealt with this year-in and year-out.

“We wear ‘GV’ on our chest, so we always have a target on our back,” Steinwascher said. “Northern is going to come out better than they were last year, we have heard a lot of good things and we are expecting a lot of good competition.”

Game one of the Lakers’ long road trip to the U.P. started in a familiar fashion as they started their GLIAC play with a 4-0 win over the Wildcats, pushing their win streak to five with a perfect record of 5-0. The Lakers had four different players hit the back of the net Friday, Sept. 17 in a well-rounded scoring attack. The first goal of the day –and only of the first half– came from junior defender, Greta DeLoach, in the 40-minute mark with an assist from sophomore forward, Kennedy Bearden.

In the second half, the Lakers ramped up the scoring, starting with a goal from redshirt sophomore forward, Chantel Carranza, on an assist from freshman forward, Taylor Reid, in the 58-minute mark of play. Four minutes later, Steinwascher found the back of the net on an assist from sophomore midfield, Alexa Morello, pushing the lead to 3-0 for the Lakers. The final Laker goal came in the 81minute mark from freshman midfield, Stephanie Sturgeon, with an assist from senior defender, Makenna Schoolman, sealing the fourth shutout of the season for the Lakers.

With his first conference win under his belt, coach Jim Conlon had high expectations for his team after a strong week of training heading into the weekend.

“The women had a great week of preparation heading into the GLIAC opener,” Conlon said. “I thought Northern came out very well prepared, but I think that we were very composed. Keeping our composure and understanding the game plan was a really big asset for us today.”

As a team that can have four different players score on any given day, Conlon knows that the team’s attack is open for any one of his players to score when they have the chance.

“What we are trying to do is make sure that anyone who is presented the opportunity is prepared for that moment,” Conlon said. “The women have done a great job that if the ball is getting passed around, and they are the one in front of the net, they’re pulling the trigger. It’s just a credit to their preparation to be ready.”

The Lakers played Michigan Tech on Sunday, Sept. 19 at noon as the team spent Saturday preparing for their second GLIAC matchup of the season.

“We are going to do a lot of preparation tomorrow (Saturday),” Conlon said. “Tech is a great opponent, and we are going to finish off our preparation in the next 24 hours to get ready for them now that Northern’s done.”

This weekend the Lakers face the Parkside Rangers on Friday, Sept. 24 at home, and then travel to Hammond, Indiana to play the Purdue Northwest Pride on Sunday, Sept. 26.