Release courtesy of the GVSU Sports Information Department
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The No. 3 Grand Valley State women's soccer team used two first-half goals and strong defense to shut out Wisconsin-Parkside in the NCAA Midwest Regional Final, 2-0, on Friday evening at the GVSU Soccer Field.
The Lakers recorded their 18th shut out of the season and extended their home unbeaten streak to 51-games, while improving to 20-1-2 on the year for their fourth-straight 20-win season.
GVSU advances to the NCAA quarterfinals on Sunday at 1 p.m. taking on Central Region Champion No. 17 Minnesota State (17-1-3) after the Mavericks advanced 5-4 on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 tie after two overtimes against No. 12 Central Missouri.
Grand Valley State came out strong in the first half, taking six shots in the opening 15 minutes. Each time though, Ranger keeper Michelle Girard got her hands on it and kept the Lakers off the board.
In the 20th minute, Taylor Callen (Mattawan, Mich.) sent a long ball from left side of the box where senior Erin Hilbert (Ada, Mich.) turned her head on it for the 1-0 lead. It was Hilbert's sixth goal of the season and third game-winning tally.
Senior Ashley Botts (Beloit, Wis.) doubled the Lakers' lead 12 minutes later, converting a penalty kick after a Wisconsin-Parkside foul inside the box. Botts now has 16 goals on the year.
A two-goal lead at halftime is all the Lakers needed as the teams battled to a scorless second half. Despite UWP holding a 7-6 edge in shots in the second half, they could not find the back of the net as only two shots were on target. For the game, GVSU owned a 14-8 shot advantage and took seven corners to the Rangers' three.
Girard picked up seven saves in the loss, while senior keeper Chelsea Parise (Sterling Heights, Mich.) turned away four to record her 15th clean sheet of the year.
For the third straight season the Lakers have defeated Wisconsin-Parkside in the NCAA tournament, picking up wins in the second round in 2011 and the third round in 2010.