#6 CSU Fights to Scoreless Draw in Season Opener with #9 Grand Valley State
Tampa, FL - A season-opening clash of top-10 teams lived up to
its billing here on Friday as sixth-ranked Columbus State and
ninth-ranked Grand Valley State fought to a scoreless tie in the
opening game of the Tampa Invitational. Grand Valley State finished
the 2008 season at 22-1, suffering its first loss in NCAA regional
play, while CSU finished at 21-4-1 with its season ending in the
NCAA quarterfinal round.
Grand Valley was the aggressor on offense on Friday, getting off 17 shots against the Lady Cougars. Only three of those tries, however, were on-goal and all resulted in saves by CSU goalkeepers Kelly Nimmo and Mary Mancin. Nimmo, a senior, started and played the first half while Mancin, a freshman, played the second half. Nimmo recorded one save and Mancin three in the contest, the last coming on a shot by GVSU's Katie Adams with just three minutes to play. The Lakers also led by a 6-2 margin in corner kicks.
CSU was held to four shots on offense - one each by Stephanie Parrish, Jill Walthall, Gina Goforth and K.C. MacEachern. Only Walthall's shot was on goal and was stopped by Laker keeper Chelsea Parise in the game's 11th minute. MacEachern had an attempt with just under four minutes to play, but the shot sailed high. Despite being out-shot by such a large margin, CSU's trademark defense did the job again in keeping GVSU scoreless.
"We played a top 10 team that was 22-1 last season and kept them scoreless," said CSU coach Jay Entlich. "Our team is still trying to find its identity with a lot of new faces, but today was a good start. We are now 5-0-1 in season openers since the program started and are very proud of that."
According to GVSU, the scoreless tie for the Lakers was the first since October 15, 2006, against SIU-Edwardsville.
CSU was to have played against Belmont Abbey in Tampa on Sunday, but that game was cancelled due to financial cutbacks at BAC. The Lady Cougars will return to action on Friday, September 4, at home at 7:30 PM against Chowan in the Cougar Invitational. Tampa will get the evening underway at 5 PM against Tusculum at the Walden Soccer Complex on the CSU campus.