W.g. Grinders Soccer Tourney on
Tap at MVNU This Weekend
The host Lady Cougars enter the tournament with a 1-2-0 record, but MVNU showed that it is a team to be reckoned with now that the Lady Cougars are back at full strength. Playing without several players the first two matches, MVNU dropped a pair of one-goal contests. Then, with their lineup back to nearly full strength, the Lady Cougars blitzed 16th-ranked Spring Arbor (Mich.) University 5-0 on its home field last Saturday.
MVNU is led by sophomore forward Kristy Brandolini, who matched the school record with four goals against Spring Arbor. Freshman forward Kelly Sgambellone has added two goals and an assist, while junior goalkeeper Krysti Wilson led the team to its first shutout of the year against Spring Arbor.
The Lady Cougars will take on Saint Xavier (Ill.) University in the first round on Friday at 4:00 p.m. Saint Xavier is 2-0-1 and ranked 15th in the latest NAIA national poll. The Lady Cougars are led by sophomore forward Lissa Coby and freshman midfielder Sarah Scigalski with three and two goals respectively so far this season.
The first match on Friday will feature Houghton (N.Y.) College versus Malone College at 2:00 p.m. Houghton moved up to tenth in the latest NAIA national poll with a 4-0-1 record. Sophomore forward Bethany Kowalczyk leads Houghton with eight goals, and the Lady Highlanders have allowed just two goals on the year. Meanwhile, Malone will enter play with a 2-1-1 record. The Lady Pioneers are led by freshman forward Aleesha Denmeade with four goals and two assists and junior forward Julie Herbst with three goals and one assist.
"This weekend will be a very good challenge for all the teams involved,” said MVNU head coach Jonathan Meade. "With two nationally ranked teams and two teams capable of being ranked, this is our toughest field yet. It should prove to be an exciting weekend of women’s soccer.”
"We are very thankful for the support of W.g. Grinders and Gayle and Tom Reber,” Meade added. "They have gone out of their way to help us make this an outstanding event. Since we are a young program and they are a new business in the area, I thought that it would be a good partnership that could help each other. Plus, I personally think they have great food.”
The tournament, which is free to the public, will continue on Saturday with Saint Xavier taking on Malone at 1:00 p.m. and MVNU squaring off with Houghton at 3:00 p.m. At the conclusion of the second match, there will be an awards ceremony presentation for the All-Tournament Team and the championship trophy.