After a great weekend, filled with two wins against good teams, the team was looking forward to the big matchup on Saturday against last year’s national runner-up Grand Valley State. Despite the weather causing us to shorten some practices, we had a great week of intense and focused preparation for the matchup on Saturday. Sophomore Scott Collins helped organized a cookout held right before the game that provided some extra enthusiasm and energy for the contest.
After a great defensive stand, and multiple big saves by senior goalie John Radcliff, who played a great game overall, fellow senior Matt Witt got open on a dodge and scored a great top shelf goal to give us a 1-0 lead about 4 minutes in. Despite our great stand to start the game, Grand Valley was able to find the weaknesses in our zone and capitalized on some mental mistakes to have a 6-1 lead after the first quarter.
To start the second quarter, Grand Valley continued their attack and put up some quick goals early in the quarter. We were having difficulty generating any offensive attack until a great transition goal by Scott Collins. It started with freshman Ali Shashavar playing great defense and forcing GV to take a poor shot resulting in a save by John, who quickly found Brennan Meyer transitioning up field. Brennan found Scott Collins on the back pipe, who finished by faking out the goalie. Despite the deficit, the goal gave us some momentum as we headed into the half down 8-2.
At half coach talked about keeping our energy and intensity up. It would have been very easy for us look at the scoreboard and become discouraged at the 6 goal deficit. However, coach assured us that if we came out with intensity, ran our offense and played good breakdown defense we could make a comeback.
However, we were unable to get anything going quickly after half time and Grand Valley was able to grow their lead even more. We had trouble doing the things coach had told us to do at half such as playing good breakdown defense and getting into our offensive system. As GV continued to increase the lead, we weren’t able to cut a dent in it until about halfway through the third quarter. Off of a fast break, Matt Witt found Senior Kevin Seifert who put away a beautiful top shelf goal. The goal showed that despite the deficit, when we played to our full potential we can play with anybody.
In the fourth quarter, we seemed to play much better team defense and were able to almost completely shut down their offense. Also, on offense we were finally able to run our offensive system and got some good clean looks off of it.
After the full 60 minutes the score was 14-3 Grand Valley. In the huddle after the game, coach told us that our motivation needs to come from within ourselves. As Christians, we have something greater to play for, and we should not need somebody else or certain circumstances in life to get us motivated. Instead, that motivation should come from being Children of God.
We were blessed to have a freelance photographer (and father of GVSU Head Coach Tim Murray) from Murray Sports Photography taking pictures of our game. Feel free to have a look here.