The Ashland University women's soccer team turned in a terrific effort and beat visiting Ferris State, 2-1, on Sunday (Oct. 13) afternoon at Ferguson Field.
It is the sixth straight win for the Eagles (9-1-1, 4-0 GLIAC) as they stayed unbeaten in the GLIAC and remained unbeaten overall in their last eight games. Ashland entered the game ranked No. 25 in the United Soccer Coaches national poll and beat Ferris State (9-2-1, 3-1 GLIAC) for the second time this season.
The Eagles were in command for nearly all 90 minutes, and like their win over Northwood on Friday night, scored their goals in the first half.
"They executed everything we asked and more today," said Ashland head coach Taylor Clarke. "We really challenged them to know that this was a game they had to be up for and they executed perfectly."
Ashland played its possession style, patiently working the ball between the backs and the midfielders as they built in the attack. They did not permit the Bulldogs to have a shot in the first half.
The Eagles got on the board in the 29th minute as a ball played into the box was deflected out by a Ferris State defender. It came to sophomore Bella Petrock, who one-touched a rocket from 25 yards into the upper 90 for her first goal of the season.
Ashland doubled its lead in the 37th minute on a corner kick. Junior Hannah Riddle's cross came into the middle of the box and senior center back Sydney Wright rose over everyone to deflect a header off the keeper's hands just over the line.
The Eagles continued their possession style through the rest of the half and after halftime. The Bulldogs finally took their first shot in the 47th minute as Tia VanSuilichem's attempt at the back post was saved by junior keeper Hannah Lee.
In all, the Eagles possessed for 59 percent of the game even though the teams wound up even with nine shots apiece.
"At this point last year, we are far ahead of where we were in terms of fitness and the confidence in what we're doing," Clarke said. "You were able to see it in a game like today against a really good opponent. We were able to be on the front foot for almost the full 90 minutes."
Lee made a splendid effort in the 64th minute as Pia Nagel's drive through traffic from 12 yards was punched over the bar by the outstretched keeper.
As the Bulldogs pushed numbers forward late in the game VanSuilichem cut the deficit in half with goal slotted just inside Lee's right post in the 89th minute.
Ashland withstood one additional shot in the 90th minute, but held on for the victory.
Lee made five saves in the match despite allowing just her first goal in 367 minutes.
The Eagles will return to Ferguson Field next Saturday (Oct. 19) when they take on Saginaw Valley in a nonconference affair. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m.