ALLENDALE, Mich. – The Michigan Tech soccer team gave second ranked Grand Valley State all it could handle Friday night, but fell at the end 3-1 in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest. The Huskies trailed at the break 1-0, but tied the match in the second half before two late scores by the Lakers proved to be the difference.
"I'm very proud of the player's performance tonight," Michigan Tech Head Coach Michelle Jacob said. "When you are able to dig deep and find yourself tied 1-1 85 minutes into the game against the 2nd ranked team in the country, you have to feel good about that. We had a couple of almost goals and one that was called back by the ref. We played incredibly hard and many players really stepped up big for us. Disappointing to not pull off the win, but certainly shows us what we are capable of."
The majority of the first half showcased the strength of both defenses, with limited opportunities available for each offense. Michigan Tech (5-4-1, 0-3 GLIAC) got the first crack at the net in the second minute when a blast by sophomore Jesse Jacobusse curved just wide right. Grand Valley State (11-0-1, 3-0 GLIAC) then took the next three shots which occurred during a stretch of about nine minutes.
Sophomore goalie Amanda Young made her first save of the night in the 11th minute on a strike from Ava Cook to keep the match scoreless. The Lakers had a couple more shots sail high or wide until the 42nd minute when they pulled in front for the first time. Cook ended up getting her ninth goal of the season when Corey Sawall crossed the ball in from the left to Cook who slipped it into the net.
The Huskies regrouped at the break and came out on the attack to begin the second half. Senior Marisa Demario sent a shot just wide left in the 51st minute followed by a flurry of attempts over the next three minutes from freshman Alicia Shatrau, freshman Stephanie Yeager, and another from DeMario. Yeager nearly tied the contest in the 54th minute, forcing goalie Jessica Radice to make her first save of the match.
Tech's pressure eventually broke down the Lakers' defense for the game tying kick. Senior Rachel Wall hit the crossbar in the 58th minute and then a few seconds later freshman Grace Shaw connected on her sixth goal of the season. Yeager fed the ball to Shaw on a perfect pass through the defense to notch her first career assist. Shaw's goal in the 59th minute deadlocked the match at 1-1.
The score remained unchanged until late in the second half, although both teams had some chances to pull in front. Jacobusse unloaded a shot on goal in the 64th minute while Young stopped five Grand Valley State strikes from finding the back of the net.
Unfortunately, the Lakers broke the tie in the 86th minute on a goal by Caitie Baron, her second of the year. It was setup on a corner kick from Sydney O'Donnell to make it 2-1. Less than a minute later, Grand Valley State obtained a key insurance goal courtesy of Cook's second score of the match. O'Donnell picked up another assist by way of a long lead pass that found the foot of Cook. The Lakers' defense kept the Huskies away from the net in the final four minutes to close out the match.
DeMario, Jacobusse, and Yeager led the Huskies in total shots with two apiece while Shaw picked up the goal on her only attempt of the evening. Shaw now has six goals, three assists, and 15 points through the first 10 matches of her collegiate career. The assist Friday night by Yeager was her first of the season. Young played all 90 minutes in front of the net and made six saves.
Cook powered the Grand Valley State offense with a match high seven shots that generated two of the three goals. Baron had the other score on her only attempt of the night while O'Donnell earned two assists. The Lakers held the advantage in total shots at 20-9 and in corner kicks at 12-1. Radice made a pair of saves and logged 90 minutes on the way to her 11th win of the season.
The Huskies will look to regroup on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Davenport University for a GLIAC contest at 1 p.m.