By Jack Walker
The Grand Rapids Community College women’s soccer team defeated Muskegon Community College on Wednesday afternoon, 3-2.
After several slow starts to games this season, GRCC was able to establish a two-goal lead within 10 minutes because of freshman midfielder Brooklyn Williams and freshman forward Abby Buttermore.
While Muskegon responded with a goal of their own, Buttermore was able to tack on another goal, bringing her total for the season up to 21 goals. Freshman midfielder Samantha Hunting had a big impact on the first half assisting both of Buttermore’s goals.
Wednesday’s match against Muskegon was a complete turnaround from their previous meeting on Saturday. After losing a tense battle on Saturday, GRCC found themselves with three first half goals and a two-goal lead.
Buttermore spoke on the difference between last game and this game,
“I think we were just more composed this game,” Buttermore said. “In practice we kinda tweaked what we needed to passing wise, and I think that it definitely just helped us get a level head and be more composed this game.”
Head coach Jason Hill spoke on why he felt Wednesday’s first half went better than Saturday’s,
“This team all season we’ve been slow to start, especially on the road,” Hill said. “And we just kept that up on Saturday, at home we have a much better record.”
The second half got more physical between the two schools, with 14 fouls committed, six for GRCC and eight for Muskegon. For reference, there was only one foul in the whole first half committed by Muskegon. The offense the Raiders had found in the first half suddenly disappeared with the team only attempting two shots the whole second half.
Still, the Raiders played tough, with a physical defense. Which in turn, resulted in a penalty for Muskegon, the ball was then slotted into the back of the net to cut it to a one goal lead for GRCC.
With the offense not quite clicking in the second half, the Raiders needed something to go their way. With only a few minutes left in the match GRCC was awarded a penalty. With a chance to seal the game for good, the ball hit off the crossbar, Muskegon was still in it. After the missed penalty the team played strong defense to close out the game and get back in the win column after a four game losing streak.
Freshman midfielder Alena Amaya reflected on the teams win over Muskegon and what they did differently this time around
“I think we definitely came in with the strategy to be more compact and to stay together, and it obviously worked out well for us, we were connecting our passes, being composed on the ball, and just moving the ball really well,” Amaya said.
With the season coming to a close on Saturday, Buttermore spoke about what she wants to achieve for the last game.
“I think obviously we’re trying to win, just trying to boost our record up a little bit,” Buttermore said. “I want to try and get some more teammates on the board for scoring and just have a good positive last game.”
Coach Hill also took time to speak on what he wants to achieve for the last game
“Say goodbye to our sophomore, our one sophomore, try to make sure that we finish the season correctly, and that’s playing a hard, fast, high work rate game, and get everybody involved,” Hill said.
GRCC takes on Lakeland Community College for the teams last game of the 2023 season. The match will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21 at MacKay-Jaycees Park. The two schools have no previous meetings with each other this season.