The Ashland University women's soccer team scored three goals in the first half and then saw the game out the rest of the way as the Eagles turned in a 3-0 win over visiting Northwood on Friday (Oct. 11) night at Ferguson Field.
The Eagles (8-1-1, 3-0 GLIAC), ranked No. 25 in the latest United Soccer Coaches national poll, have now won five straight games and are unbeaten in their last seven.
Ashland wasted no time in getting the first and only goal it would need just 80 seconds into the match as junior defender Hannah Riddle sent in a dangerous cross from 35 yards to the back post where senior forward Deijah Swihart smashed in a header for her fifth goal of the season.
From there, it was all Eagles as they were able to dominate play throughout.
"I'm really happy with the way we started and getting the early goal is helpful, but we felt like we were on the front foot in a lot of different ways – the way we defended, the way we played the ball through the midfield, and the way we attacked," said Ashland's second-year head coach Taylor Clarke.
The Eagles doubled their lead in the 14th minute off a restart by sophomore center back Tori Baker. Her ball found the head of sophomore forward Makenzie Kelly whose flick was touched on by junior midfielder Nadya Boualany. Sophomore forward Brianna Fourman took the final touch over the keeper and just inside the left post to make it 2-0. It was Fourman's third goal of the season.
"The nice thing is that our scoring is rotational," Clarke said. "It's not always going to be one person every day bringing the magic. It's passed around and we rely on different people to do different things. We gave them some early problems and we were able to capitalize on our creativity."
The third goal came in the 28th minute as sophomore forward Faith Lewis took the ball off a Northwood defender in the final third and laced a left-footed shot into the back of the net. She is tied with Swihart for the team lead in goals with five.
The Eagles held a 12-5 edge in shots and led in corners, 3-0.
Junior keeper Hannah Lee kept a clean sheet for the third straight game, needing to make three saves for the Eagles.
The Eagles will face a stiff test on Sunday (Oct. 13) at 1 p.m. when they take on Ferris State at Ferguson Field. Ashland gave the Bulldogs their only loss of the season, 3-1, on Sept. 29 in Big Rapids, Mich.