Dean, Bump lead Lakers to key wins as they await playoffs.
The Grand Valley State men's club soccer team earned a pair of 2-0 wins against Western Michigan Friday night and Notre Dame on Sunday.
The Lakers (9-2-1) continued their winning ways, winning for the fifth time in six games. GVSU has not lost a game since a 1-0 loss to Michigan State in early September.
Griffon Dean led the way for the Lakers. Dean notched a goal and an assist in the weekend series.
GVL/Kevin Sielaff Austin Lively moves to dribble around a defender. Grand Valley's club soccer team squares off against Central Michigan Sept. 12 at the intramural field.
"We stayed composed and didn't force anything," said Dean. "We let the other team make mistakes."
Dean's goal in Friday's match was a near post shot that beat a charging WMU goalie.
Captain Robert Klein also tallied a goal for the Lakers over the weekend. Klein netted a tap-in shot on a cross from Dean in Sunday's match.
"Griffon made a great play on the left wing and played the ball across," Klein said. "It was an easy goal to tap in - all the credit goes to Griffon."
The Lakers again relied on a solid defensive effort to secure the two victories. The defense was able to keep the ball at midfield and in the offensive zone, leaving the opposing teams with few scoring chances.
"We don't like to play long," said GVSU head coach Jeff Crooks. "We like to keep the ball and find our chance and finish."
The Lakers capitalized on scoring opportunities set up by the defense. Midfielder Paul Bump netted two goals over the weekend - one in each game. Bump scored on a header from a corner kick in Sunday's contest against Notre Dame.
Although the Lakers have been on a winning streak, the team has not solidified a spot in the playoffs.
GVSU sits in fourth place in a tough Midwest Alliance Soccer Conference. Only the top three teams in the conference make the playoffs. The Lakers have some work to do, but can sneak into third place in just one scenario.
First, the Lakers must win next weekend against Ferris State University. With a loss or a tie, GVSU would be eliminated from playoff contention.
Second, Michigan State needs to beat Purdue next weekend. If Purdue wins or ties against the Spartans, GVSU would be eliminated even with a win against Ferris State.
MSU is favored to win next weekend at Purdue, but the Spartans have already locked up a playoff position. The Spartans are only playing for seeding and do not need to win next weekend, meaning they may rest some of their better players, which is worrisome for GVSU.
The Lakers' early season woes are coming back to hurt them. GVSU dug itself into a hole, starting with a 2-2 record. The loss to Purdue in the first weekend may be the determining factor for which team makes the playoffs.
"That's the loss at the beginning of the year that killed us," Crooks said. "We never should have lost to them. They are a good team, but we couldn't score that weekend."
The Lakers will look to secure a playoff spot Oct. 18 against Ferris State at 3 p.m.