GVSU women’s soccer to host first ever match at Lubbers Stadium
The Lakers hope to break the Division II women's soccer attendance record (3,227)
GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Madz Ham (9) and Jayma Martin (12) celebrate a Grand Valley goal. The Lakers defeat the Panthers of Ohio Dominican with a final score of 4-0 on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 in Allendale.
The Grand Valley State women’s soccer team will face off against Tiffin at Lubbers Stadium in the team’s third conference match of the season as a part of the Friday Night Fútbol event Friday, Sept. 30. It will be the first time the GVSU women’s soccer team has played at Lubbers Stadium in the history of the program.
“We are all really excited, especially with the crowd being out there,” said Jayma Martin, GVSU’s leading goal scorer. “It is going to be high energy.”
The Lakers are attempting to break the single-game attendance record in NCAA Division II women’s soccer history. The current record is 3,227 fans in a game between the two top-ranked teams in the nation in 2009, Wayne State (Nebraska) and Nebraska-Kearney.
“We are trying to get as many people out there,” Martin said. “Creating the environment around campus and doing something a little different and getting more people to come out.”
The team has been advertising the game in hopes of packing the stands with fans.
“We’re looking forward to have that energy in that stadium, having students coming out because that is who will fill those seats,” said Marti Corby, defending NCAA Division II Player of the Year.
While the Lakers have played in important games before, including three national championship games, the team has never played in front of a crowd as large as the one that could be in attendance Friday night.
“I don’t think I have played in front of 1,000 people even,” Corby said. “It’s going to be incredible to see if there are 4,000 (people).”
For a group of seniors that have won three straight national championships, this is great opportunity for them to showcase their talent to a larger GVSU crowd.
“For all the success we’ve had and big games we have been in, attendance wise, this could be the most fans they have ever played in front of,” said GVSU coach Jeff Hosler. “Hopefully it will be an electric atmosphere. We are looking forward to utilizing some of the facilities and just playing in a different venue on campus.”
The game will feature pre-game tailgating that is featured during home football games. There will be a pre-game concert as part of the university’s “Rock the Vote” initiative. The GVSU marching band will also be in attendance.
While the players are excited for the large crowd, the change in venues could be a slight disadvantage for GVSU. The Lakers play a spread-out style of offense and utilizes the entire width of the field when they attack. The field at Lubbers Stadium will be narrower than what the team usually plays on.
Either way, the GVSU players are all excited for the opportunity to play in front of a big crowd at Lubbers Stadium.
“If there’s that type of crowd that they are forecasting, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Hosler said.
The Friday Night Fútbol game will start at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 and tailgate festivities will start at 4 p.m. outside of the stadium.
The game is free to attend for all attendees.