No. 19 MSU Women’s Soccer falls to No. 2 Grand Valley State 4-1

The 19th-ranked Minnesota State women’s soccer team lost 4-1 to No. 2 Grand Valley State at The Pitch on Sunday afternoon.

The Mavericks (1-1-1) and the Lakers (3-0-1) traded scoring opportunities in the first 20 minutes of the match. Minnesota State had a chance to take an early lead when freshman Alesha Duccini got behind the Grand Valley State defense. However, Duccini’s shot went wide.

The Lakers ended the stalemate in the 20th minute when Gabriella Mencotti got a shot past freshman Alexa Rabune (1-1-1), the Maverick goalkeeper, to give Grand Valley State a 1-0 lead. Marti Corby assisted on the play.

Freshman Taylor Kenealy and sophomore Morgan Cottew each had a shot at 34:10 and 35:00, respectively, but the Lakers’ goalkeeper Jennifer Steinaway stopped both shots — two of her three saves in the match.

Under three minutes later, Kendra Stauffer scored to give Grand Valley State a 2-0 advantage at 37:38. Shannon Quinn picked up an assist on the play. The Lakers retained their 2-0 lead going into halftime.

Grand Valley struck again when Mencotti scored her second goal of the day to put the Lakers up 3-0 in the 53rd minute. Rabune made a save — one of her five in the match — but the rebound bounced to Mencotti, who deposited the ball into the net. The Lakers went up 4-0 — the largest lead of the match — when Corby scored in the 60th minute. Mencotti earned an assist on the goal.

Minnesota State fought back and pulled within three when Kenealy, after receiving a pass from junior Jenny Hoerter, scored past Steinaway for her first goal of the season to make the score 4-1. Hoerter assisted on the play — her first of the season.

Freshman Julia Nellis, junior Lexi Pszanka and senior Maddy Smith each attempted a shot in the last 10 minutes of the match, but were unable to score as time ran out on the Mavericks.

The Mavericks and Lakers each tallied 16 shots in the match, but Minnesota State recorded four shots on goal compared to nine for Grand Valley State.

Minnesota State returns to action to face St. Cloud State in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference match at The Pitch on Friday at 4 p.m.

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