Soccer preps for GLIAC Tournament
There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.
With just a few clicks of their blue and black slippers, and two weekend wins against Lake Erie and Notre Dame, the Grand Valley State University has clinched home-field advantage throughout this week’s GLIAC tournament.
“Our upperclassman are playing with a sense of urgency right now for us,” said head coach Dave DiIanni. “This weekend was really important for them, they wanted to win a GLIAC regular-season title and we saw the urgency in their play this weekend.”
This could spell trouble for the rest of the conference, as the already dominant Lakers get to play the most important conference games of the season without the troubles that come with long bus rides and unfamiliar fields.
“It’s really beneficial to be at home,” said senior midfielder Alyssa Mira. “So we don’t have to do as much traveling and we can also continue to focus on school. We play some of our best soccer on our field, in the home atmosphere with the support of our fellow students. Having that advantage over the opponent makes it all more exciting to play.”
The Lakers surely should be considered the team to beat by their GLIAC foes, as they haven’t allowed a goal in their last five games and in 15 of their 18 contests this season. They have also been dominant on the offensive end, scoring a league best 43 goals in conference play. Since the only loss of the season against Findlay on Oct. 12, GVSU has tallied over 20 shots in every game.
“I think we’ve been in postseason mode mentally and physically since we lost to Findlay.” DiIanni said. “We were able to win the GLIAC regular season championship and avoid going up to Houghton (Northern Michigan if we can get to the weekend. I think we’ve been playing that way already, we just need to continue that.”
The Laker seniors hope to finish their careers with four GLIAC tournament championships in four tries. The senior core of the team consists of seven players who hope that their final season ends on their own terms.
“Our starting 11 is probably the most experienced it has ever been,” sad senior forward Ashley Botts. “We’ve been here before and know what it takes to get it done. Being GLIAC champions is our first on a long list of season goals, so finishing this weekend on our home field is a great start to getting another banner on our field.”
GVSU is the number one seed, and hosts Northwood on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in Allendale.
Pictures of the Year 2012-2013
8:00 am | MBA Information Meeting: AM session
10:00 am | SAP Farm Stand
5:30 pm | MBA Information Meeting: PM Session
11:00 am | GVSU Track & Field at NCAA Championships
No events for Fri