No place like home

Soccer returns home after three weeks of away games

Pia Nagel makes a play in the Bulldogs’ home victory over Davenport. Photo courtesy of Ferris Athletics.

One of the largest crowds in Ferris soccer history welcomed the Bulldogs back home after five straight away games.

The nationally 11th ranked Bulldogs extended their win streak to seven with a win against Davenport on Friday Oct. 1. The match was physical from the start, totaling 37 fouls, but that did not stop the Bulldogs from netting four goals. Despite the tough competition, Ferris kept their foot on the gas for all 90 minutes.

Late in the first half (43:10), Ferris opened the scoring with a ball crossed into the box from senior forward Pia Nagel, which was shot into the back of the net by junior forward Payton Price. The goal marked Price’s fourth of the season, and Nagel’s second assist so far this year.

The Bulldogs pressured the Davenport defense early in the second half, but the Panthers held off the Bulldog’s efforts. Then the floodgates opened when Nagel received a long pass from senior defender Maddie Dickens beat the Panther’s goalie Samantha Beckles. She slotted the shot to give the Bulldog’s a 2-0 lead in the 72nd minute.

Coach Greg Henson knew his team needed to capitalize in the second half.

“We had a lot of chances, but everything was hitting the big net and nothing hitting the target,” Henson said. “We had to make their goalkeeper make saves. We were able to do that in the second half, and that’s why the scoreline changed the way it did.”

Senior midfielder Bri Rogers continued the scoring with a penalty kick (74:36). The penalty was drawn by junior forward Isabella Zamborini, who was taken down just inside the box. Rogers got the call and added to her school record with a total of 10 successful career penalty kicks.

To close out the scoring, Nagel roped a left-footed curl into the top left corner from 20 yards out after sophomore forward Sydney Stones gave her a pass up the side of the field. The goal marked Nagel’s sixth goal so far this season and puts her fifth on the all-time scoring list in program history with 33 goals.

Nagel talked about her mindset when she scored.

“You can’t plan something like that,” Nagel said. “I just turned and didn’t see a good option so I thought why not? Time to take some risks.”

She also mentioned how the on-field relationship between her and her teammates has given her continued success.

“I just try to be a good teammate every game,” Nagel said. “For my teammates, set them up for success so that they can set me up for success.”

The game also served as a tribute to newly retired Athletic Director Perk Weisenberger. Weisenberger, who helped Ferris Athletics achieve historic success over the past 11 years, is retiring from over 40 years of high-level intercollegiate achievements.

The Bulldogs made sure to give the big crowd a great game to watch, outshooting the Panthers 22-9. They once again made freshman goalkeeper Darya Mossalaei’s job easy, only allowing 3 shots on goal.

Ferris also competed on Sunday, Oct. 3. They visited Grand Valley and tied 2-2. After the two games over the weekend, Ferris’s record sits at 7-1-1 (4-0-1 GLIAC).

The Bulldogs will host two more home games this weekend, starting when Michigan Tech visits on Friday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. Then, Saginaw Valley State will come to Big Rapids Sunday, Oct. 10 at 1 p.m.