GV women’s soccer opens 2022 season with back-to-back shutouts


GVL Archives

Madeleine Smith, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University women’s soccer started their season off with a bang as they defeated Missouri S&T, 3-0 and Maryville University, 1-0.

As back-to-back national champions, the Lakers are a favored contender in both regional and even national postseason action as they were selected No. 1 overall in the 2022 GLIAC Preseason Poll.

With a 15-2 shot on goal tally in favor of the Lakers in their match against Missouri, the team seemingly controlled the pace throughout, as two of their shots laced the back of the net in the first half.

Redshirt freshman midfielder Nina Ferraro scored her first collegiate goal on the opening shot attempt of the match just past the sixth minute (05:01), as freshman midfielder Abby Winn would follow with her first collegiate goal (36:21) to make the match 2-0 just before halftime.

Senior goalkeeper Callie Rich commented on the team’s strategy and play style going into this season, mentioning the fact that play styles from previous seasons have found their way into the current game plan.

“If something has shown great success, why change it?” Rich said. 

Graduate forward Riley O’Brien went on to record the team’s third and final goal within five minutes of the start of the second half (49:42) as the Lakers’ defense continued to put on an illustrious defensive performance. 

Though sticking with something familiar can be comforting, the program doesn’t shy away from the thought of expanding on their skill sets. The players have continued to work on implementing their own unique style of play, which, in turn, Rich said will make the team better overall.

“There has been a shift of energy within the team, for the better,” Rich said.

Rich said that with every new season, there is bound to be a change of energy between teammates. The team has had multiple team bonding events before the start of the season in order to create a fun environment for the players, something that the coaching staff sees as a top priority. Rich also commented on how the positivity from the team starts with the coaching staff, and how they prioritize their players by fostering an incredible environment for the players to thrive in as individuals. 

“We want to not only compete for ourselves, but for the twenty seven other girls on the team,” Rich said. That is the power of a good coaching staff. This mindset has created a powerful team and a team full of girls that are willing to work for each other on and off the field.” 

After two days of rest and practice, the Lakers continued their road trip with a matchup against the Maryville Saints. The first and only goal came early (15:17) from sophomore midfielder Ryann Fetty from an assist by Nina Ferraro to put the score at 1-0.

Though the match saw just one goal, multiple Lakers impacted the pace to give the team 14 shot opportunities overall. Not only that, but the Lakers again put on a familiar showing of defense that would limit the Saints’ offense to six shots on goal in the match. 

The Lakers are set to face Central Missouri in their next bout, a team the Lakers defeated in the quarterfinals of the 2021 National Championship and swept throughout the entire season (2-0).

The match is set for Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. at the GVSU soccer field.