Josh Sturm – Sports Editor
The Lady Cougars are off to a great start heading into the heart of their Crossroads League play.
The team started the season unranked and have since moved up to 18th in the coaches poll, debuting at 14th in the first NAIA Modified Ratings Percentage Index or the MRPI poll.
Last weekend, the team faced its toughest challenge of the season, heading up to Michigan to take on the defending Crossroads League champion and 12th ranked Spring Arbor.
The Lady Cougars lost 2-0, in what was by far the toughest game on the Cougars schedule.
“I thought today was a good battle between two strong teams,” MVNU coach Daniel Seiffert said after the game. “Spring Arbor is certainly deserving of their number 12 ranking and made the most of their opportunities whereas we did not put ours away. We will take this game and continue to learn and grow from it as we progress through league play.”
The dynamic offensive tandem of junior forward Rachel Baker and senior midfielder Megan Griffith has led the Lady Cougars offense to 34 total goals so far this season. Baker has scored a Crossroads-leading 13 of those goals and Megan Griffith leads the Crossroads League with 11 assists, just one short of leading the entire NAIA.
Griffith and senior goalkeeper Eleni Miller have both won League Player of the Week honors twice so far this year. Baker has captured one Player of the Week award as well.
At the start of the week, the Lady Cougars were 9-2-1. The next home game will be on Tuesday as they face the Lady Pilots of Bethel College (Indiana) at 4 p.m.