Ranger women’s perfect season comes to a close, fall 1-0 in Sweet Sixteen

On Nov. 21 the number three ranked Ranger women’s soccer team, riding high on a perfect season, fell to eleventh ranked Grand Valley State University early in overtime, 1-0. It was a valiant effort on the end of the Ranger women, who could have given up at least six goals, but fought to keep them from the back of the net.

The game opened up unusually for the Ranger women, with the team being more on the defensive for the majority of the first half. Grand Valley St. controlled much of the tempo, but that didn’t stop the Rangers from attacking whenever possible. Neither team was superior, but the Lakers seemed to have the edge early and often. Senior Midfielder Kelsey Armour took the best shot of the game for the Rangers with twenty seven minutes left in the first, kicking the ball out of the reach of the keeper, but slightly above the post. Later in the first, Grand Valley was threatening deep in the box, keeper Mallory Geurts got slightly out of position and a Laker put a good shot on goal, but Defender of the Year, Senior Karley Mecko came up big, deflecting it out of bounds, keeping the score knotted at zero going into the half.

The second half started out much like the first, with the Lakers attacking early throughout, and the Rangers attacking on any opportunities that presented themselves. The game got very physical, with a lot of pushing and shoulder blocks for both sides (a GVSU player was carded with twenty four minutes left). GVSU got deep into the box on a few occasions, but First Team Member Goalie Mallory Geurts kept them in front of her; the game went into overtime still tied at zero.

The overtime period went back and forth for what seemed like a few moments; that was until the game ended on a header off of a corner kick by a GVSU player, propelling Grand Valley State into the Elite Eight, and leaving the Ranger Women defeated.

The Rangers were undefeated throughout the season, collecting the regular season and conference titles on route to a sweet sixteen appearance. The team landed six players on All-GLVC Teams, and three individual awards (Karley Mecko was Defensive Player of the Year, Bailey Reed was Freshman of the Year, and Troy Fabiano was Coach of the Year). The game was also the finale for four great Ranger careers, Kelsey Armour, Karley Mecko, Ashley Meyer and Emily Konior. In their four years, the Rangers made it to the NCAA tournament four straight times, appeared in two sweet sixteen games, and put up an astonishing record of 32-2-6 at Wood Road Field.

We at The Ranger News want to once again congratulate the UW-Parkside Women’s Soccer Team on a banner season, and on being not only one of the most dominant teams this year, but consistently achieving excellence year in and year out. You are our champions, ladies.

Article by Jalen Perry

Women’s Soccer ready for postseason run at a National Championship

This year’s women’s soccer squad is one of the most dominant teams in school history. Not just running the table for the second time in school history, but sweeping the GLVC Regular Season and Tournament championships.

The strength of the team was their defense, not allowing two or more goals on the entire season (outscoring their opponents 48-5 on the year including the GLVC Tournament). They came an award away from also sweeping individual awards this year with six players on All-GLVC teams; Seniors Karley Mecko (who also won Defensive Player of the Year), Emily Konior, Niekie Pellens and Sophomore Mallory Geurts all landed on First Team All-GLVC, Sophomore Jillian Hetfleisch was selected Second Team, and Freshman Bailey Reed was Third Team (also winning GLVC Freshman of the Year).

Coach Troy Fabiano picked up his fourth GLVC Coach of the Year Award, and in an interview says that the girls make him look very smart. He credited the award mostly to the girls, saying that “it is up to them to perform at the end of the day.” I asked him to reflect on the season so far and he said that the girls have pretty much accomplished every goal that they set at the beginning of the season, and then some. They aimed to not only to win their division, but to win the outright GLVC regular season championship, they emphatically accomplished that goal. They wanted to host the GLVC tournament and win it in front of their home fans, also accomplishing that. He says if it wasn’t for the senior leaders keeping the team on track and reminding them to keep their eyes on the prize day in and day out, then this season wouldn’t have been possible. Now, they prepare for their fifth straight NCAA Tournament; they are ranked third, first in the Midwest, and will host opening and second round games at Wood Road Field. Once again, the wily veteran coach didn’t take my bait in trying to get a prediction. He said that they are going to take it a game at a time because anything can happen in the tournament. They are going to stay prepared because they are now being hunted. But Rangers are never scared of a challenge.

Let’s rally behind our women’s team; they are the real deal and are about to put the country on notice once again. Their first game is Sunday Nov. 16 at 1:00pm against either Ohio Dominican University or Saginaw Valley State University. Go Rangers!

Article by Jalen Perry

Our top seeded Ranger Women win GLVC Soccer crown 4-1

Nov. 9 2014. Naturally, this was one of the tougher challenges defensively the Rangers felt all tournament, with seventh ranked Cinderella team Missouri S&T pressing a lot during the game. But in the end, it was a seventeenth win for the undefeated and now undisputed conference champion, UW-Parkside Rangers.

The game started out perfectly, within the first two minutes of the game, sophomore midfielder Taylor Schiffer-Jander scored on a breakaway goal, her seventh of the season, giving Parkside an early 1-0 edge on the Miners. After that goal, the Rangers continued to press on throughout. Later in the first half, seniors Niekie Pellens and Kelsey Armour connected on another corner kick, similar to a play the game before against Truman St., with Pellens getting the assist (14th) and Armour heading it in for her fifth goal of the year. With all of the scoring Parkside was doing early, the upstart Miner team did get a few chances, as they played freely, pressing on all chances they got. Goalie, First Team All-GLVC member Mallory Geurts made a beautiful save with seventeen minutes left, but on the corner kick that followed, Missouri S&T broke through, scoring; Parkside was still leading 2-1 going into the half.

Parkside came out of the half with a new fire in their eyes, being much more aggressive trying to score the ball. Second Team All-GLVC member, Sophomore Forward Jillian Hetfleisch scored eight minutes into the second half for her seventh on the season, extending the Ranger lead to 3-1. Then, just three minutes later, Third Team All-GLVC member and Freshman of the Year, Bailey Reed scored, placing the ball perfectly on the outside, high post just outside the reach of the Miners goalkeeper for her fifth goal of the season, furthering the Ranger lead, 4-1. Coach Troy Fabiano began to take his seniors out one by one, as the Rangers won their fifth tournament championship (2003, 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2014).

The girls finish the season 17-0-3, winning the regular season and now tournament championships. This has been a historic and banner year for the Parkside Women’s Soccer team. Now, heading into the NCAA tournament, our Rangers have to be one of the favorite’s to bring home a National Championship. It is a great time to be a Ranger, present or past.

We here at The Ranger News want to say congratulations to everyone on the team, players and coaches, etc. We will continue to support on through to the NCAA Tournament as well. Go Rangers!

Article by Jalen Perry