The Ferris State women’s soccer team has earned a GLIAC Tournament berth for the sixth straight season and will be looking to break a streak of semifinal losses.
The Bulldogs have been in the GLIAC Tournament every year for the past six seasons, but for three of those six seasons the women’s soccer team has failed to push past the semifinals.
The drought was nearly broken a year ago when Ferris managed to post a 14-5-1 overall record and fought their way to a competitive semifinals match against Ashland.
Despite being led by former senior forward Nichole Boehnke and former senior goalkeeper Maddie Haustein, the Bulldogs lost 5-4.
Wins haven’t come as easy for the soccer team this year, as the Bulldogs have fell into a bit of a slump on offense, averaging right around a single goal per game. Junior Rachel Fouts has been one of the very few players that has been able to find the back of the net, scoring a team-high four goals to this point in the season.
“Throughout the year we haven’t scored a lot,” Head Coach Andy McCaslin said in an interview posted on the Ferris State Bulldogs Athletics website. “Defensively we’re very confident and our goalkeepers are making big saves when we need them most.”
Defense has kept the team afloat, leading them to a 6-7-4 overall record, which was good enough to land the Bulldogs a sixth spot in the GLIAC.
The success on defense is in part due to some impressive play from freshman goalkeeper Grace Kraft. Kraft has filled the shoes of her predecessor Maddie Haustein starting 12 games for the Bulldogs as she has posted nine shutouts and allowed nine goals in her debut season at Ferris.
“We have been playing very gritty soccer,” Kraft said. “That kind of play gives the team energy and makes us more eager to prove ourselves. This team has each other’s backs; we just have to continue to play our game and focus on our strengths.”
Gritty play can often take its toll on athletes, causing fatigue and making them more prone to injury. This team however, seems to feed off games that come down to the wire, which could make them a serious threat heading into the month of November.
Following Friday night’s loss to Grand Valley State University, the Bulldogs will claim the sixth seed in the Tournament. This means they will travel to Houghton where they will take on third seeded Michigan Tech 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1.