The SVSU women’s soccer team powered through its former conference foes Ohio Dominican and Findlay to advance its record to 3-1.
On Sunday Sept. 10, SVSU took on the Findlay Oilers in what was a tougher match than expected. However, Saginaw Valley came away with the victory 2-1.
“We were hoping for more of a comfortable victory,” Head Coach Michael O’Neill said. “Findlay came to play and we lacked some quality, but some team effort really put us over the line and helped us come away with a victory.”
The Cardinals controlled most of the game early, outshooting Findlay 4-1, but none of the shots would find the back of the net.
Saginaw Valley was able to escape the danger of a near cross and score from Findlay and progress the counter attack in the 22nd minute. Sophomore Valentine Giambanco ran the field and saw freshman Whitney Flemming open for the first goal of the game.
13 minutes later, sophomore Molly Vanderhoff got ahold of a long sending pass and passed defenders to put the Lady Cards up 2-0.
“It was our always in our game plan to start quickly and assert our dominance early,” O’Neill added. “The strong and fast start really won the game for us today.”
The second half was a different story for the Cardinals, as the Oilers brought a strong attack.
With 20 minutes left to play, an SVSU foul in the box led to an Ashley Rings score on the penalty kick that gave Findlay their first score of the game.
With just a 2-1 lead, Saginaw Valley turned to offensive pressure to hold off the Oilers.
The scheme seemed to work as Findlay only got four more shots and SVSU held on to win 2-1.
SVSU welcomed Ohio Dominican Friday, Sept. 8, and came away with a 2-1 win. Isabel Bauer, a freshman from Germany, made her third collegiate start in the net for the Cardinals and held off 13 of the 14 shots on goal.
Saginaw Valley knew they had to start off strongly, and they were able to dominate the field in the first minutes. The Cards’ pressure contributed to three shots and a corner kick before the 13th minute.
In the 14th minute, the Cardinal attack earned a penalty kick. However, Flemming couldn’t beat the keeper but connected with the rebound to put it in the net and put SVSU up 1-0.
ODU responded well, putting together seven minutes of an attack that included four shots. However, SVSU continued their offensive pressure for the rest of the half and put six shots at the net.
The first 15 minutes of the second half was a battle – both teams surrendering chances at the net. In the 61st minute, the game started to shift in the Cardinals direction. After a blocked shot, Saginaw Valley earned a corner kick. Junior Amanda Minissale crossed the ball towards the box and was able to find sophomore Jennifer Muana to head the ball into the goal.
Ohio Dominican, scrambling to find some success on the offensive end, ramped up their attack. In the 70th minute, Allie Atkinson bounced a 35-yard shot over the goalie to give the Panthers their only score of the day.
ODU continued the pressure, but the Cardinals were able to stifle any chance they had to score and complete the 2-1 victory.
“To win this game, that was a huge first step for us to take and look forward to the rest of the season,” senior captain Kristin Syrowik said. “Our back line played superbly, and we were able to hold off (ODU’s) attack late – that’s not something that we have been able to pull together in the past.”
SVSU will continue regional action against GLIAC opponents on Friday, Sept. 15, at Northern Michigan and Sept. 17 at Michigan Tech.