The Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team held its first home game on September 2 against the University of Central Missouri (UCM) when the game ended in a 2-2 tie.
Although both sides of the offense struggled to find a steady rhythm, the Lakers would be the only team to score in the first half with eight shot attempts total. However, GVSU hounded the UCM Mules defense throughout and displayed aggressive offensive plays near the opponent’s goal.
GVSU’s first goal came from senior forward Kennedy Bearden about four minutes before halftime (41:20) on an assist from fifth-year forward Kennedy Metzger.
“My strategy was to change the point of attack and change the ball from side to side,” Metzger said. “With my assist, I couldn’t find the back of the net, but I can always count on Kennedy to be there to put the ball in the back if I can’t.”
Second-year goalie Kendall Robertson, who played all 90 minutes in the MCU matchup, was able to keep the Mulos from scoring in the first half when the score was 1-0 for the Lakers before halftime.
Just under nine minutes from the start of the second half, UCM was able to tie the game 1-1 on a free kick attempt (53:49). The Mulos offense would be effective again (69:20) as they were able to return the ball to the net in a corner kick that put UCM 1-2.
However, the Lakers didn’t let the change in momentum dominate the rest of the game. GVSU found its rhythm and was able to tie the game 2-2 again on a goal from Metzger (75:09) that was assisted by second-year defender Stephanie Sturgeon and second-year midfielder Ryann Fetty.
After the Lakers’ second and final goal of the entire game, the defensive stops continued for both GVSU and the Mulos as each side totaled four saves a piece. Although both opponents displayed stellar defense, each side struggled to stay out of the referee’s attention as the Lakers drew 10 total fouls, eight coming from the Mules.
Head Coach Katie Hultin commented on the overall outcome of the match, stating that the opponent’s defensive presence and overall athleticism made it difficult for the Lakers to find success attacking the UCM goal.
“I think this was a brave performance from our entire team and we knew they were going to pull through,” Hultin said. “Good game, tough opponent. We will improve from here.”
With two home games 48 hours apart, Hultin said fatigue and little time to prepare for Minnesota State University could be big factors in the Lakers’ success on Sunday, Sept. 4.
“Sunday is going to look a little different,” Hultin said. “They’re going to have fresh legs and we’re going to be pretty fatigued, so we’re going to rotate a lot of players and we might see a different formation on the field, but we’re excited and ready for Sunday. ”
While the Lakers will be looking to add another win to their record against Minnesota, GVSU is currently 2-0-1 overall on the season as they lead the GLIAC standings in first place.