Soccer finally allows a goal, remains undefeated
Streaks are conversation starters, while wins are the morals ascertained from meaningful chats. Streaks don’t last; wins do.
“As a team, we weren’t ever really worried about the streak and didn’t talk about it much,” GVSU senior goalkeeper Abbey Miller said. “We’re concerned about getting wins.”
It took 13 games and 88 shots, but Grand Valley State University (14-0-1, 11-0-0 GLIAC) finally allowed a goal in a match played Friday against Michigan Tech (10-4-1, 7-2-1 GLIAC) at Houghton, ending the Lakers sensationalized shutout streak. The goal by Michigan Tech’s Danna Kasom In the 55th minute also effectively concluded Miller’s scoreless streak at 1,228:08 minutes without yielding a goal. Both streaks matched the second best marks in Division II history and the seventh longest across all divisions. “We were disappointed with how the goal was scored, not that the goal was scored, and we came up this weekend to leave with two wins,” GVSU coach Dave Dilanni said. “If the scoreless streak happened to exist after that, then so be it.”
The Ashland University women’s soccer team won eight consecutive conference championships from 1997-2004, a streak that ended against GVSU in 2005. The Lakers have been the premier program in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference ever since and with a 2- 1 win against Michigan Tech, became the first GLIAC program in history to secure nine straight league titles.
“Winning the GLIAC title outright was very important to our team and to know heading into the weekend we had to defeat two very good teams for that to happen. Our girls were excited because they held their future in their hands,” Dilanni said.
“As with any success our program has had this year, it has become very clear to our team that our success is a byproduct of our ability to focus on and do well with the little things in preparation for games, and we need to continue to do that if we want to accomplish more goals as the season grows.” With snow flurries falling, GVSU broke through the chill and notched two goals in the first 25 minutes of play against Michigan Tech. Laker leading goal scorer junior forward Jenny Shaba connected on a assist from freshman midfielder Marti Corby in the third minute to open the scoring and then in minute 25, assisted freshman midfielder Charlie Socia for what would become the game’s winning goal.
Despite allowing a goal, GVSU out shot Michigan Tech 20-9. Jenna Phelps recorded 10 saves for the Huskies while Miller stopped four shots for the Lakers.
“We didn’t mention anything about the streak going into today’s match, but we didn’t play our best soccer Friday,” Corby said. “We wanted to go into today’s game with the mindset of getting back to our style of play and to continue to work on things we needed to work on.”
Sunday, GVSU defeated Northern Michigan (4-9-2, 4-4-2 GLIAC) 3-0, as the Lakers remain undefeated through 14 games. Just as they had against Michigan Tech, GVSU wasted little time getting the ball rolling on offense as three different Lakers scored in the first half.
Senior midfielder Shelby Humphries headed in the first goal of the afternoon in minute 16 on a cross from freshman forward Olivia Emery, putting GVSU in the lead to stay. In minute 22, Socia set up Corby for a shot from the rim of the box, earning her first assist of the season and extending the Laker’s lead. Freshman forward Kendra Stauffer tallied goal No. 3 in minute 37; it was her ninth goal of the season.
After experiencing a goal against, Miller returned to her scoreless ways Sunday, defending all three of Northern Michigan’s on-target shot attempts and recording her ninth solo shutout in GVSU’s 14th team shutout of the 2013.
“This weekend, we learned that we can bounce back from adversity and that our team won’t turn on each other during those times,” Dilanni said. “In fact, we find strength during those moments.”
GVSU will travel to play Ferris State (8-6-1) Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. before hosting Lake Erie (4-10-1, 3-6-1 GLIAC) Friday for what will the Lakers final game of the regular season. “The season is coming to a crucial and exciting time. We’re going to start playing great competition from here on out and we’re looking to peak at the right moment,” senior defenseman and tri-captain Sam Decker said.
With a focus on continued growth as a team, GVSU sets eyes towards November in hopes of streaking towards the win that says the most: a national championship. “Whether or not we’ve ready to make the jump into playoff soccer is a question that can’t be answered yet, in my opinion,” Dilanni said. “It’s a process. Everyday, we do something that surprises and excites me about the potential this team has and if you asked the players, they’d say they still have room to grow.”
“We want to keep this season going as long as possible, but first things first; Ferris State and Lake Erie. Have to walk before you run, day-to-day.”