HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech soccer team battle third ranked Grand Valley State University for 90 minutes Friday afternoon at Sherman Field, but fell 2-0 in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match. The Huskies' defense held the Lakers, who were averaging over four goals per match coming in, to just two goals while generating some scoring opportunities on counter attacks.
"We came into the game with a game plan where we asked our players to do something that we really haven't done before," Michigan Tech Head Coach Michelle Jacob said. "It required them to be really diligent about the game plan and they were. Their efforts got Grand Valley State out of their comfort zone a little bit. Our players stepped up, played so hard, and were composed defensively which did a lot of good for us.
"It shows the level that we are capable of playing at and now we need to take another step forward. Grand Valley State is a great team and for our kids to hang in with them and do as well as we did today I think there is a lot of little victories we should be proud of."
Grand Valley State (14-2-0, 8-0-0 GLIAC) went on the attack early and forced freshman goalkeeper Amanda Young to make a quick save 52 seconds into the match. The Lakers then broke through for their first goal in the 10th minute when Ava Cook got behind the defense and slipped the ball into the net for a 1-0 lead. Tara Lierman played the ball up to her with a through ball down the field and was credited with the assist.
Michigan Tech (5-8-1, 2-5-1 GLIAC) buckled down defensively from there and made it tough on the Lakers to get in sync offensively. Young made a string of four more solid saves midway through the first half allowing freshman forward Leah Goldman the opportunity to nearly tie the contest in the 33rd minute.
Unfortunately, her strike was saved by GVSU goalie Jennifer Steinaway which kept the Lakers in front 1-0. Grand Valley State made a bid to extend the lead before the intermission, but once again Young turned in her sixth and seventh saves, resulting in a 1-0 score with one half in the books.
The Lakers picked up their insurance goal in the 51st minute when Sara Stevens collected a pass from Tracey McCoy and raced towards the net. She was able to lift the ball in the air over Young and into the corner of the net, extending the gap to 2-0.
Trailing by two, the Huskies picked up the intensity on offense and in the 62nd and 66th minutes had a couple of shots nearly find the mark. Junior Andrea Zubke fired a shot that went just wide of the net followed by a strike from freshman Brooke Schauer just outside the post.
Zubke and Schauer also took aim again later in the second half, but were slightly off target each time. Meanwhile, Young notched three more saves to keep the Huskies close all the way to the end.
Zubke and Schauer paced the Michigan Tech attack with two shots each followed by Goldman with one shot on goal. Young played all 90 minutes in front of the net and matched a season and career high 10 saves. Young had 10 stops in a 1-0 season opening victory at Winona State on September 1st.
Gabriella Mencotti had a game high four shots for Grand Valley State, but the Huskies were able to keep the GLIAC's leading scorer off the board. Stevens and Cook accounted for the scoring with a goal apiece while McCoy and Lierman picked up assists in the match. The Lakers had an 18-5 advantage in total shots and a 5-1 edge in corner kicks. Steinaway earned the win in net for GVSU, logging all 90 minutes with one save.
The Huskies will be back in action Sunday afternoon when they host Ferris State for another GLIAC match at Sherman Field. The Bulldogs lost at Northern Michigan 2-1 Friday night.
"We are going to focus on some recovery tomorrow and put our best foot forward for Sunday's game," Jacob added. "Ferris State is another tough team that we are going to have to battle against, but I have all the faith and confidence in our players that we can rally."