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Tech soccer riding roll atop GLIAC

October 11, 2012
By Michael Bleach - DMG Sports Writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - The Michigan Tech soccer team sits in first place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic conference, is currently riding an eight-game winning streak and has already set the program record for most victories in a season with six regular season games remaining.

It is up to the Huskies fan to enjoy this, however. Because head coach Michelle Jacob and her team aren't taking any time to bask in these accolades quite yet.

"I'll be honest, I just don't keep track of all that kind of stuff," Jacob said. "It is just about going out there and doing the best we can right now. We really are a take-it-one-game-at-a-time kind of team."

When prodded, Jacob did offer at least some semblance of pride in the Huskies accomplishments.

"The girls believe in what we are doing and they believe in each other," Jacob said. "And these wins, this season has been about the whole team, every single girl. Its not me or just one or two girls but the whole team."

Tech was once again at their very best last weekend, defeating Saginaw Valley (No. 3 in the GLIAC) 3-1 and Northwood (No. 4 in the GLIAC) 3-2.

The Northwood victory was especially impressive as Tech twice had to come back from a goal deficit before Janelle Riedl scored the winner in the 87th minute on a free kick just outside the box. The road victories put Tech's record at a perfect 7-0 in conference, two points up on perennial power Grand Valley State.

"Our girls never gave up, they kept playing and kept doing what we needed," Jacob said of the Northwood game. "We just kept producing and kept going after it. Nobody ever stopped for a minute. I really applaud their effort. Everybody rose to the occasion."

The Huskies rank second in conference with over 2.5 goals per game, trailing only Grand Valley's three goals per game average.

Tech's attack is most effective in that it does not rely on one forward to provide the scoring. Midfielder Lindsey Van Rooy leads the Huskies with six tallies, while Katie Boardman trails with five scores and Janelle Riedl has four goals to her name. Six different players have at least five points this season.

The plethora of players who can provide a finish at the net has made Tech's attack difficult to prepare for.

"I just think that our midfielders and forwards creativity is allowing us to get a lot of shots off. Eventually they go in," Jacob said. "So many players on our team can score. And it does make us very unpredictable. It adds a bit to what we do, because you can't focus on one or two players.

"We have been fortunate this season to have all of these players produce goals - it must be something in the water or the U.P. air.

Up next for the Huskies are middle-of-the-pack GLIAC squads in Ashland and Ohio Dominican at Sherman Field Friday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (noon).

Jacob has noticed an increased intensity from opponents over the last few weeks as the wins piled up for her squad.

Now solely in first place - with Grand Valley sporting a draw on its record - Jacob expects Ashland and Ohio Dominican to be fully geared up (despite the cold and potential snow) for a chance to take down the Huskies.

"We have a target on our backs," Jacob said. "We are having a good season and every team wants to be the one who knocks off the team with the big winning streak."



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