Women’s soccer clinches MCCAA Championship, extend perfect record
BY NATALIE SHIRVANIAN
The Schoolcraft Women’s Soccer team kicked into the 2015 season with confidence and determination to redeem themselves from last year. With an undefeated record of 12-0 overall and 9-0 in the conference as of Oct. 7, the lady Ocelots clinched their fourth MCCAA (Michigan Community College Athletic Association) Championship since 2011, redeeming themselves after losing the title last season.
“The team has become a lot more creative in the attack as the season has progressed. We continue to think the game at a higher level as we go, which is allowing us to break down our opponents with a greater variety of scoring opportunities,” said head coach Dave Carver.
The Ocelots’ season has been deemed successful, not only because they are undefeated in the conference, but because the team has proven their strength in defense. They have only had one goal scored on them all season when they played at Delta College on Oct. 4. The game at Delta did not stop the ladies from taking the win with a big number of 8-1, however.
The Ocelots played Muskegon Community College on Oct. 11 to win the MCCAA Championship game after defeating Muskegon, 5-0.
Schoolcraft started fast when sophomore captain and forward Shae van Gassen fired one in the net, unassisted at the 11:50 mark making the score 1-0. When the opportunity for a free kick came for the Ocelots, there was no missing those easy shots, and sophomore midfield Tori Koontz scored to add to the lead, 2-0.
The Ocelots continued to get ahead of the game and secure the win in the second half. Not even a minute into the second half, van Gassen scored her second goal, unassisted again at the 45:54 mark, putting the Ocelots up 3-0. At the 69:51 mark, freshman forward Samantha Alatto nailed one to the net, with an assist by sophomore midfielder Erin McDonald, Ocelots 4-0. Van Gassen topped off the win with her third unassisted goal against Muskegon at the 76:22 mark, ending the game 5-0 Ocelots.
As Schoolcraft celebrates their victorious season in the MCCAA, they continue to train hard to prepare for the NJCAA Region XII Tournament that will be held on Oct. 31 in Cincinnati. “Preparing for the regional tournament is exciting and motivating. Every girl on the team is giving 110 percent because we all want to have the chance to win a national championship,” said McDonald.
The success of the Ocelots’ season this year includes contribution and hard work from every player on the team. With a fair mix of returning and incoming players, the chemistry and communication on the field is key to winning the games for Schoolcraft.
Ocelots take on the reigning champions
Schoolcraft plays the 2014 reigning champions Monroe College from Bronx, N.Y. on Saturday, Oct. 17 in Perrysburg, Ohio at Owens Community College (recap will be posted on www. schoolcraftconnection.com).
“Monroe will definitely be a different game, so in the first 10 minutes, we have to come out strong and win every 50/50 ball. They are going to be our most challenging game, so we have to play together as a team, if we want to do well against them,” said van Gassen.
Coach Carver also added, “This will be a massive game for us to try to bump our National ranking up. We feel privileged to have last year’s National Champs on our schedule and are very excited for the challenge. We will prepare the same way as any other game to play an attacking style of soccer and set a high tempo early on in the game.”
For more information about schedules, statistics and rosters visit www.MCCAA.org.