Sweet victory

Ferris soccer advances from regional semifinals win

Photo by: Samantha Cavotta | Torch Photographer

The historic run for the Ferris women’s soccer team keeps on rolling after a tight 1-0 win over the 17-3-3 Ohio Valley University (OVU) Fighting Scots (Vienna, West Virginia).

Saturday, Nov. 10, the second seeded Fighting Scots faced the third seeded Bulldogs in the NCAA Tournament regional semifinal game in Big Rapids while snow fell. The snow was not accumulating on the field, but it was present, making for wet conditions.

Coming into the NCAA Tournament regional semifinal, the Bulldogs knew how tough of a team the Fighting Scots were. During their season, OVU had put up 52 goals against their opponents, while holding the teams they have played to just 11. Ferris also knew that it was going to be a physical game as OVU has averaged about two yellow cards per game.

During the first 20 minutes of the first half, the Fighting Scots showed why they have only let 11 goals in, pressuring the Ferris defense hard and not giving anything up on their own defense. OVU was also facing the wind, so it was hard for the team to keep balls up in the air. Ferris was at the advantage where they were going with the wind, giving the soccer ball more spin.

The Bulldogs eventually picked their offense up during the final minutes of the first half, after Ferris junior goalkeeper Alison Chesterfield stopped the two shots that were on net during that half. Ferris had a late push in the final minute of play in the first half but could not find the back of the net, so both teams headed into halftime with zeros on the board.

When the second half started, Ferris took the momentum they had to end the first half and got on the scoreboard quickly just four minutes into the half. Ferris freshman forward Pia Nagel took the ball downfield all the way into the goalkeeper box and deflected off an OVU player, and Ferris junior defender Tia VanSuilichem followed the shot through, netting her fifth goal of the year.

The Bulldogs kept the pressure on as they matched their shot total from the first half. Since OVU was down by one, they were playing for their season, as it was win or go home. The Fighting Scots ended with 7 shots on goal.

As time was winding down, OVU put more pressure on the Bulldogs and brought their defenders up, risking a big counter from the Bulldogs but hoping that the more players they brought down, the greater of a scoring opportunity they would have. Every player, including the OVU goaltender, was on Ferris’ side of the field as for one last goal push, but fell short.

Ferris went on to win their second ever NCAA regional match 1-0 with the help of Chesterfield, who has posted back-to-back shutouts.

The Bulldogs advance to the Sweet 16 of the tournament, where they wait on the results of the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) versus Walsh University game Sunday, Nov. 11. If GVSU wins that game, they will host the Bulldogs Friday, Nov. 16. If Walsh wins, the Bulldogs would host the Friday game.

Click here to read more about the Ferris women’s soccer team.