GVSU soccer advances to national championship
GVSU Soccer vs. Rockhurst, 11/9/18, GVSU Soccer Field. GVL / Katherine Vasile
The undefeated Grand Valley State women’s soccer team is headed to the Division II NCAA national championship. The Lakers faced off with Lee on Thursday, Nov. 29 in the semi-final game in Pittsburgh, Penn, winning 3-0. They will now prepare for Bridgeport on Saturday, Dec. 1. GVSU continues with a record of 25-0-1, and Lee ends their season at 17-7-1.
The match started off intensely with high energy from both teams. The Lakers were able to get a few shots in the first 15 minutes with little answer from Lee. In the 18th minute of the game, sophomore Caitie Baron was able to snag the first goal for the Lakers, breaking through defenders to finish the assist from sophomore Sydney O’Donnell.
With their momentum on an upswing, the Lakers quickly advanced the score in the 21st minute. Sophomore Ava Cook squeaked in the Lakers' second, her 24th goal of the season, with an assist from junior Riko Sagara after breaking through several defenders. GVSU went into halftime leading 2-0.
With a chance at their sixth national title, the Lakers were buzzing with energy starting the second half, but the Flames came out with a hunger to gain back at least one of the goals, battling hard against GVSU to try and sneak one by. The Lakers answered with their usual tough defense, and aimed to control possession throughout the game. They quickly regained control of the ball, and in the 66th minute freshman Chelsea Graves secured the Lakers' third goal of the game.
The national championship game against Bridgeport University in Pittsburgh, Penn. is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1 beginning at 3 p.m.