Maintaining morale

Pair of road games delivers mixed results for FSU

For a moment on Sept. 28, Grand Valley State University’s twenty-four game win streak looked to be in danger. Just under six minutes into the game, FSU sophomore midfielder Hillary Braun netted a goal to put the visiting Bulldogs on the scoreboard first.

The goal was the first allowed by GVSU on its home turf in nearly two years, and it gave the Bulldogs some much needed momentum to begin the game.

GVSU tied the game less than a minute later and added two more goals in the first half to give the Lakers a 3-1 lead going into halftime. That would end up being the final score of the game, as neither team lit up the scoreboard in the second half.

Friday, the Bulldogs traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the Panthers of Ohio Dominican. The Panthers began the game the same way the Bulldogs started their match against GVSU by putting the first point on the board just minutes in.

FSU tied the game later in the first half with an unassisted goal from freshman midfielder Stephanie Garland. This put the game at a 1-1 deadlock, where the score would stay for the remainder of the game, resulting in a tie.

“We wanted to win against Ohio Dominican, and we had some good opportunities, but we just weren’t able to finish,” said senior defender Mekyla Spraggins.

The results for the week bring FSU’s record to 4-5-2 overall and 4-2-2 in the conference.

However, playing a dominant team such as Grand Valley so closely was a great sign for the Bulldogs, according to FSU head coach Matt Kellogg. The Lakers are ranked fifth in the country among Division II teams.

Kellogg acknowledged the accomplishment and looks forward to the next meeting of the two teams, which will take place on Oct. 29.

“When we get them next at home, that will be at the end of the season and they’ll know we are going to play them tough,” said Kellogg.

Despite playing in a tough pair of games and not walking away with a win, Kellogg said team morale has not dropped.

“In this conference, to do what we did this weekend is a very good accomplishment,” said Kellogg.

The players also recognized the positives from this weekend.

“We are still getting it together as a team traveling on the road,” said Spraggins. “You don’t have the comforts of home, but we are still playing well and coming together.”

Spraggins and the rest of the team have their ultimate goal in sight.

The Bulldogs take on Saginaw Valley State University Oct. 8 at SVSU’s soccer complex and is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.