GV women’s soccer wins second-straight match against GLIAC rivals


GVL / Sydney Lim

Gabriela Garbey, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team rose above the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in a 2-1 win over the Rangers, making it their second win in conference play this season.

The Lakers took control of the pace early as their offense hounded the Rangers’ defense, amassing a 13-5 advantage of shots on goal. 

Sophomore midfielder Ryann Fetty was able to score the only goal of the first half for GVSU (18:34) on an assist from senior defender Cate Brown and sophomore defender Stephanie Sturgeon, as neither side of the ball was able to string together another effective offensive attack prior to the halftime whistle.

First-year assistant coach Mario Zuniga-Gil said it’s the players’ ability to fulfill their individual roles that helps to create success for the team overall.

“The girls are beyond amazing and care for each other,” Zuniga-Gil said. “They are willing to do anything they can to help their teammates to help themselves be better for the team.”

Although the first half only saw one goal by GVSU, the Rangers came out with a chip on their shoulder as they amassed 12 fouls and were given two yellow cards within 17-minutes of each other (30:04, 47:39). This aggressive play continued as soon as the opening second half whistle was blown and the official handed out a third yellow card to Parkside just six minutes into the half (51:24).

Noticing that their opponent was reeling a bit in, staying focused on minimizing errors, the Lakers attempted to take advantage of the field position and got off several more shot attempts on the goal only to come up short each time.

With GVSU unable to take advantage, Parkside found themselves with a scoring opportunity 13 minutes into the second half (58:40), evening the score at 1-1 as frustrations began to grow amongst the Lakers.

Fetty (61:23) and junior forward Alicia White (86:57) found themselves receiving yellow cards of their own, and it would force the Lakers’ defensive aggression to dial back a bit.

These cautions would ultimately prove effective for Parkside, as they were able to score on one of their very few shots on goal attempts.

The game stayed stagnant after this goal, with a consistent back-and-forth fight between both sides of the offense and defense and the inability to capitalize on opportunities near the goal. 

Zuniga-Gil commented on the multiple shot attempts by the Lakers, mentioning that sometimes it can be more of a mental battle for the players versus the physical aspect of the game.

“We made the half hard for ourselves because we had so many opportunities and could not seem to put the ball in the back of the net,” Zuniga-Gil said.

With neither side being able to produce a game-changing goal and the game nearing its end, adrenaline levels rose amongst the players giving it their best to get the ball past the opponent’s goal line and break the tie in the final minutes of the game.

As the game clock read just under six minutes left in regular time, fifth-year forward Kennedy Metzger was able to break the seal off a corner kick by senior forward Kennedy Bearden. Metzger got a piece of the ball and tapped it in the net, sending the Lakers to their fourth win of the season.

“It’s one of those goals you have to dig out of you in the last few minutes to avoid tying with a team in the conference,” Metzger said. “We had so many great attempts- I think we could have had a couple more.”

Parkside attempted to tie the match back up without success, and the final whistle blew with the scoreboard reading 2-1 in favor of the Lakers.

Senior defender Alexa Morello also commented on the outcome of the match, stating that matches like this where the team has to really fight for the win are beneficial for the team in many ways.

“I think we really needed the win tonight,” Morello said. “A late-minute goal is still a goal despite us struggling to put the ball in the goal. (This will also help) prepare us for Sunday’s game.” 

The Lakers accumulated 28 shot attempts in the match (13 first half, 15 second half), 16 of which were on target with the goal compared to Parkside’s 10-total attempts (four on target).

GVSU will look to add to their win column as they continue conference play at home in a five-game home stand. The next two bouts consist of Purdue University Northwest on Sunday, Sept. 18 and Northern Michigan University Friday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.