Lakers show out on Senior Night, women’s soccer defeats Saginaw Valley at home


GVL / Bethann Long

Gabriela Garbey, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University women’s soccer had a big win at home over Saginaw Valley State University, 3-1 on the Lakers’ annual senior night, extending their home record to 6-1-1.

In the win, the Lakers also used the match to raise awareness for breast cancer with pink uniform attire and a charity game to help raise donations for the campaign.

Prior to the opening kick-off, eight seniors were recognized in a tribute as they were each given a framed jersey that included photographs of in-game moments; Cate Brown, Kennedy Bearden, Alexa Morello, Kennedy Metzger, Riley O’Brien, Brooke Russell, Callie Rich and Chantel Carranza.

In her first year as GVSU’s head coach, Katie Hultin said it’s an honor to have coached these players (and the rest of the team) so far this season.

“I’ve only got to know them for the last few months but they are eight really special individuals who have been very impactful to the program for this year’s team,” Hultin said. “I’m excited to see what they all do in their future.”

Having scraped by against this opponent in their previous matchup on the road (3-2), GVSU knew the second meeting would be tough to pull away with a win.

Sophomore goalkeeper Kendall Robertson was tested early on by Saginaw’s offensive attack as the opponent held a significant 8-3 shot advantage over the Lakers before the first goal was scored. However, Robertson didn’t waiver against the pressure as several battles just outside of the goal line were prevented by both the keeper and GVSU’s defenders.

As time went on, aggression levels rose from both sides, and the aggression would ultimately come back to bite SVSU as Bearden would draw a foul inside the box, giving her a chance at a penalty kick.

The forward successfully converted the penalty kick and put the Lakers up, 1-0 at the 25:26 marker.

With the first points on the board and a huge momentum shift, the Lakers wouldn’t look back as Bearden would set up junior forward Taylor Reid for a successful goal attempt at the 27-minute marker and push the lead to 2-0.

Defense and a few unsuccessful attempts at the back of the net from both sides would bring the match to halftime as SVSU would attempt to swing the momentum back in their favor in the remaining 45 minutes.

The charity game consisted of two fellow Laker students that raced against one another to get frisbees to fly into the hula hoops across the field and after roughly 30 seconds, a winner was crowned. 

After a bit of fun, the action resumed and GVSU didn’t hesitate to put the match away as Bearden scored her second goal just six minutes into the second half (51:02) on an assist by Brown.

The next 30 minutes were all about the Lakers’ defense as SVSU allowed only three more shot attempts. With six failed shot attempts themselves, Saginaw Valley was finally able to put their first points on the board, but it was too little too late as the goal came with under three minutes left in the match (86:27) and the final whistle blew with the scoreboard reading 3-1.

In the win, Hultin said she believes the team played their best game and used their controlled ball-handling skills to their advantage against a tough opponent.

“I think we knew that this game was going to be a battle, but if we played our game and kept the ball moving we were going to be successful and that we were,” Hultin said.

The Lakers are now 8-0-1 in their last nine matches and continue to make their mark against GLIAC opponents as they sit two wins above the second-place opponent (No. 1 in the standings). 

With one home game left on the season against Ferris State University (tied 0-0 in first meeting) on Sunday, Oct. 16, GVSU will hope to finish out their last three regular-season road games on a positive note.