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Cardinals defeat #12 Ashland University to earn No. 2 seed in GLIAC Tourney

Cardinals defeat #12 Ashland University to earn No. 2 seed in GLIAC Tourney

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University women's soccer team closed regular season play with a 4-2 victory over #12 Ashland University on senior day. The Cardinals improve to 10-6 overall and 7-2 in GLIAC play and clench the #2 seed in the GLIAC Tournament.

The Ashland Eagles showed up to play as they were first on the scoreboard going up, 1-0, just inside the 10' mark. The Cardinals would respond with a goal of their own as Valentina Giambanco found the back of the net on a feed from Molly Vanderhoff to knot the match, 1-1, 15 minutes into the first half. Saginaw Valley found their groove as Whitney Fleming found Amy Babon at the 30' mark to put the Cardinals up, 2-1. This score would hold true through the end of the first half as SVSU led #12 Ashland, 2-1.

At halftime eight SVSU senior athletes were honored by head coach, Michael O'Neill, for their hardwork and dedication to the team. These eight seniors included: Abby Divozzo, Valentina Giambanco, Allison Sims, Hannah Tarnaski, Jennifer Muana, Whitney Fleming, Brianna Bishop, and Molly Vanderhoff.

The Cardinals outshot the Eagles, 8-3, in the first half and only allowed three corner kick opportunities. 

With the lead and momentum on their side, the Cardinals entered the second half hungry for a win. Saginaw Valley added another score less than two minutes into the second half as senior Molly Vanderhoff beat the Eagle defenders and found the back of the net at the 46' mark to put the Cardinals up, 3-1. Alyssa Watts and the SVSU defense was able to keep the #12 Eagles off the scoreboard in the second half until the 71st minute as a lone Ashland attacker was able to put one in the back of the net cutting the Cardinals lead to one by a count of, 3-2. The Cardinals were able to put the final score of the match past the Eagles goalie on a penalty kick from senior Valentina Giambanco, her second of the match. Saginaw Valley held the Eagles off the scoreboard for the remainder of the match and ended the regular season with a, 4-2, win over #12 Ashland.

Inside the Boxscore

  • Senior Giambanco led the Cardinals with two goals which brings her season total to four.
  • Fellow senior Molly Vanderhoff added a goal and an assist for SVSU making her season totals three and two, respectively.
  • Amy Babon added a goal, bringing her season total to four.
  • Alyssa Watts improves to 4-2 in GLIAC play for the Cardinals and added one save bringing her season total to 41.

From Head Coach Michael O'Neill...

"What a great way to honor our eight seniors. We imposed ourselves early in the game and were unfortunate to go behind. The girls showed great resilience to fight their way back into the game and get the lead at halftime. It was a back and forth game in the second half but the fourth goal iced it for us. It was great to show everyone that we can hang with the top teams. Now we enter the fun part of the season and the one objective is now to survive and advance!"

Up Next...

As the #2 seed in the GLIAC Tournament, the Cardinals will host the #7 seed Parkside, Sunday (Nov. 10) in a GLIAC quarterfinal match. First kick will be at 1:00 p.m. at Braddock Field. Follow all the action live at

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