By Joshua Woolverton
Cedarville University’s women’s soccer team defeated Saginaw Valley State in their home opener Thursday night 4-0 in an out of conference game. Junior Alyssa Maillefer led the way scoring two goals less than two minutes apart.
Cedarville head coach Jonathan Meade said the girls’ team came out to execute what they had trained for in this game.
“They came ready to play and they took care of business and I’m really proud of them for that,” Meade said.
The Saginaw Valley State Cardinals attacked early with a fast start even though they were going against 15 mph winds. They controlled the pace early and had some good opportunities in the offensive zone, but they could not capitalize on those opportunities. The Lady Jackets seemed to settle into more of a rhythm as the game progressed.
“After the initial 10 minutes or so we settled the ball down and did more of what we wanted to do,” Meade said.
Fourteen minutes into the game, Maillefer received a pass from Grace Miorelli and scored her first goal of the season on a high strike from 25 yards out. Less than two minutes later, Maillefer scored again from the left side of the field on a high shot.
“We knew that we had to give it all we had while we had the wind and it paid off,” Maillefer said.
The Lady Jackets rode this momentum and continued to put pressure on the Cardinals. This resulted in a third goal off a corner kick. Hannah Atkinson collected a bouncing ball at the top of the box and scored off the corner kick to put the Lady Jackets up 3-0. All three goals came in the span of 13 minutes.
During the second half, the Lady Jackets focused on maintaining a strong defense. Saginaw Valley State put the Lady Jackets in constant pressure during the second half but the defense held its own. Cedarville did not have a ton of ball control in the second but they shut down the Cardinals offense. Cedarville goalie Allison Garlock played well with multiple smart and physical plays to stop the Cardinals and secure the shutout.
Cedarville scored the only goal of the second half when Rachel Wiggins put in a rebound off the post seven minutes into the half.
“The girls played really well,” Meade said, “I’m glad it all came together.”
The Lady Jackets’ next game will be against Lewis at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Josh Woolverton is a junior journalism major and sports reporter for Cedars. He hopes to get involved in sports reporting and analysis after graduation and enjoys watching sports, running, and spending time with friends.