Courtesy of GVSU Athletic Communications
Lakers top defending National Champions Central Missouri, 6-1, Sunday
ALLENDALE, Mich. – The No. 1 Grand Valley State Lakers are headed back to the Final Four after a 6-1 victory over the defending National Champions Central Missouri Jennies in the NCAA Quarterfinal match Sunday (Nov. 18) at the GVSU Soccer Field. The Lakers avenge their season-ending loss to the Jennies from a year ago to advance to a ninth Final Four appearance in the last ten years. GVSU improves to 24-0-1 on the year while Central Missouri ends their season at 19-5-1.
Ava Cook scored two goals within the first eight minutes of the match, while Riko Sagara and Madeline Becker each also scored a pair of goals. Sagara also had two assists on the day, extending her national lead in the stat with her 21st and 22nd of the year. She now finds herself two assists shy of Marti Corby'ssingle-season GVSU record (24).
It was a dream start for the Lakers, with Cook putting GVSU in front in just the 2'. After some tight passing in the attacking third, Sagara slid the ball over to Cook on the left side of the box and she lofted a shot over the Jennies' keeper and into the far side netting. Just five minutes later Cook would strike again, dribbling through the defense before drilling an 18-yard shot off the bottom of the crossbar and into goal. Just a few minutes later, Sagara would launch a seemingly harmless shot on frame that whistled right through the keeper's hands and into net.
The Lakers would lead 3-0 at half and wasted little time out of the break in adding to their lead. Becker would strike from long range with a brilliant left-footed after Sagara played her in behind the defense in the 47'. Jada Scott got the Jennies on the board ten minutes later, but Sagara responded with a smasher off a ball in by Raemi DeWent before Becker took another long-range shot that powered through a deflection to round out the scoring.
GVSU advances to the Final Four where a reseeding will occur to determine the semi-final matchups. The final site of the 2018 women's soccer season is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with the semi-finals on Thursday, November 29, and the championship match on Saturday, December 1. GVSULakers.com and @GVSUSoccer on social media will provide updates on matchups, game times and more as they become available.