On Senior Day on Friday, Oct. 27, the Saginaw Valley women’s soccer team finished its regular season with a dominating win at home against Northwood, 7-0.
Seniors Ingrid Hannevig, Alexis Hilliard and Kristin Syrowik all made their last regular season start for the Cardinals.
“It has been a great four years here at SVSU, and having the emotions of this being the last time I ever step foot on this field is crazy,” Hilliard said.
SVSU had an attacking mindset early against the Timberwolves. Just 13 minutes into the opening half, Mallory Hestwood got the Cards on the board and earned her first goal of the season.
Five minutes later, Syrowik also earned her first goal of the season and put Saginaw Valley up 2-0.
In the 43rd minute, Sakura Bals found the back of the net and handed the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.
Saginaw Valley held the Timberwolves to just five shots in the first half and held off any Northwood offense until the 20th minute.
“The difference in quality from this game from some of our past games was so vast,” head coach Michael O’Neill said. “We wanted to challenge ourselves (Friday) and try to stack up the score sheet.”
The second half saw an even more powerful Cardinal attack. In the 60th and 63rd minute, the Cardinals knocked in their fourth and fifth goals of the afternoon.
SVSU continued the attack seven minutes later, when Valentina Giambanco scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season to put the Cards up 6-0.
Hannevig, who typically plays defense, took a penalty kick and sent it past the keeper for her first goal of her collegiate career and the Cardinals’ seventh of the game.
“Scoring my first collegiate goal was very special to me,” Hannevig said. “I knew there would be opportunities for me to score, and having my parents in the stands gave me some extra motivation to try to make it happen. But I didn’t expect (Coach O’Neill) to ask me to take it. I am so thankful that I was given that opportunity.”
Hannevig, whose home country is Norway, had her parents in attendance for the game.
“It’s been a grind and a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the players we have become,” said Syrowik, Hannevig’s fellow senior. “To get the win, score a goal, watch (Hannevig) score her first collegiate goal and to play in front of several of my family and friends, it was definitely a game I will never forget. But we aren’t done yet.”
Saginaw Valley will continue into postseason play when it enters the first round of the GLIAC tournament. This is SVSU’s first time in the conference tournament since 2014.