Two Late Goals Lift Ashland Past Ferris State In GLIAC Soccer Semifinals

Two Late Goals Lift Ashland Past Ferris State In GLIAC Soccer Semifinals

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's soccer team suffered a heart-breaking 4-3 setback to Ashland in the semifinals of the 2015 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament on Friday (Nov. 6) at the Laker Soccer Field in Allendale.

The second-seeded Bulldogs held a late lead over the third-seeded Eagles and appeared to be on their way to advancing to Sunday's league championship game. However, AU scored twice in the final four minutes of play to upset the Bulldogs and move on in the conference tournament.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 14-5-1 overall and now must wait the official announcement of the NCAA Tournament pairings, which will be made on Monday (Nov. 9) evening at 6:30 p.m. (ET) at FSU entered the contest ranked sixth in the region with AU seventh and six teams will receive NCAA postseason berths for the Midwest Region.

Ferris State built an early lead thanks to a strong first half of play. Junior Meredith Smith got FSU on the board first only 1:47 into the contest with an unassisted goal to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 edge.

FSU stretched its lead to 2-0 just over 10 minutes into the outing when sophomore Rachel Fouts picked up her third goal of the year on a give-and-go aided by senior forward Nichole Boehnke.

However, Ashland scored late in the opening stanza at 43:42 on Kelsey McKernan's unassisted tally to make it a one-goal contest at halftime. The Bulldogs had several other potential scoring opportunities in the first half which could have extended the advantage.

In the second half, Ashland tied the contest up in the 62nd minute as Chandra Hohne notched her first goal of the year on a low shot from the right to the far side of the goal for an unassisted marker.

Again, though, Ferris State took the lead when senior Lindsey Scott picked up her second goal of the campaign in unassisted fashion on a 15-yard shot from the left side of the goal only two minutes later at 64:14 of the second frame.

The 3-2 score stood in FSU's favor until the 86th minute when Deijah Swihart scored the first of her two goals at 86:04 off a Morgan Bittengle assist. It came on a header off a cross to the far side of the net.

Then, only 2:21 later, Swihart recorded her seventh goal this year at 88:25 off a quick combo of passes assisted by Lauren Gokey and Bittengle to push the Eagles in front. From there, they held on for the victory.

Ashland managed to outshoot the Bulldogs 20-16 for the day, which included a 13-7 edge in the second half. The Eagles also had 11 shots on goal to eight for the Bulldogs overall.

The victory went to Ashland goalkeeper Courtney Barker, who improved to 13-2 overall this year by making five saves in 90 minutes of work. FSU senior Maddie Haustein dropped to 14-5-1 overall despite making seven saves in 90 minutes of action.

The Bulldogs had all three corner kick tries in the contest and totaled four fouls to three for the Eagles.

This season, Ferris State has set a new school record with 14 victories overall to date and placed the highest in school history with a runner-up league regular season finish. FSU set a new school mark with nine league wins and posted a school all-time best 12-match unbeaten streak at one point this year. 

Additionally, the Bulldogs have already set a school record for most shutouts in a campaign (8) and most consecutive shutouts (4) while being ranked among the top six in the Midwest Region. FSU did not drop a match after the opening weekend of the season until mid-October under head coach Andy McCaslin's direction. 

Prior to Friday's setback, the Bulldogs had pulled out 10 victories determined by two goals or less this year.

Stay tuned to for additional details regarding a potential bid into the NCAA Tournament as they become available.