Heartbreak in Houghton

Ferris State splits the weekend


Nikki May makes a play in Ferris’s 6-0 victory over Purdue-Northwest. Photo by Angie Rosenthal, Torch Photographer.

The Bulldogs had their hopes of going unbeaten in GLIAC broken.

Ferris’s first conference loss of the season came at Michigan Tech on Sunday, Oct. 24. The Huskies won 1-0, knocking Ferris’s record to 11-2-2 (8-1-2 GLIAC) with three games remaining in the regular season.

On Sunday, Ferris made the long road trip up to Houghton to take on the Michigan Tech Huskies for the second time of the year. In the first meeting the Bulldogs got the 2-1 win in overtime.

The second verse was not the same as the first, as the Huskies were able to disrupt the Bulldog’s 13 game win-streak in a defensive showcase 1-0. The first half remained scoreless, despite scoring opportunities from both teams.

It was not until midway through the second half where Michigan Tech’s Grace Shaw went over the top with a header goal from Stephanie Yeager’s corner kick.

Although Ferris stayed ahead in shots (17-10) and shots on goal (5-3), they were unable to get MTU keeper Erika Gabriel to let a shot through. This was their first loss against the Huskies in five seasons, with their last one being in 2016.

The loss also stopped the Bulldogs short of breaking the all time most wins in a row at 13, one game away from tying the record that was set in 2018. It was also their first loss this season in league play, leaving them at 8-1-2 in the GLIAC (11-2-2 overall).

Ferris also competed on Friday, Oct. 22 against Purdue-Northwest. The Bulldogs dominated the Pride with an offensive showcase of 6-0.

The Bulldogs were able to get back on track offensively, straying away from the long overtime games, and reminding teams of their impressive scoring abilities.

Senior forward Grace Verhage set the tone early in the game. She broke the scoring open just 30 seconds into the contest. The high ball in came from junior midfielder Nikki May, who gained her fourth assist of the year from the goal.

Coach Greg Henson gave his thoughts on the pressure from the Bulldog offense.

“We wanted to set the tone and the tempo of the match early. Obviously scoring 30 seconds into the match does that for you,” Henson said.

Twenty-three minutes later, junior Isabella Zamborini crossed a ball across the penalty box. Finding the foot of senior Bri Rogers, who blasted the ball past Parkside’s net-minder, Ashley Lovins. Rogers picked up her seventh goal of the year, while Zamborini got her fourth assist so far this season.

The Bulldogs wasted no time to get the third goal of the day. Senior Pia Nagel ripped a shot that squeaked out of Lovins’ hands. Setting up a perfect opportunity for Verhage to score her second goal of the day. The team created many more shots, but they went to the half ahead 3-0.

Less than ten minutes into the second half, senior Abigail Gilmore finished a rebound from a Bri Rogers shot. Lengthening the lead to 4-0.

Lovins commented on the offense’s ability to create scoring opportunities.

“As we move the ball, play simply and play quickly, we do get to generate a lot of shots,” Gilmore said. “A big goal of ours is not to just generate shots, but generate shots on goal.”

Again, the Bulldog’s scored 110 seconds later when Nagel let it fly from outside the 18-yard box. The goal was Nagel’s ninth goal on the season, while Verhage got on the scorecard again for her eighth assist of the year.

After the goal, Henson relieved most of the players on the field. Testing out the depth of the team’s ability.

The team proved well, as sophomore Sydney Stones finished the scoring with just seconds to go in regulation. Fellow sophomore Kortlyn Shwenke picked up her second assist on the play. Bringing the score to 6-0 at the final horn.

“It was nice being able to bring subs in off the bench, and the level of play didn’t drop. It didn’t stay the same, but actually got elevated,” Gilmore said.

The Bulldogs bested the Pride in shots (32-5) and shots on goal (20-5). Freshman keeper Darya Mossalaei’s performance garnered her eighth shut-out this season.

The Bulldogs will be welcomed back home on Friday, Oct. 29, as the take on the Northwood Timberwolves at 2 p.m. at the Bulldog Soccer Field.