Bulldogs top Huskies, fall to Lakers

Soccer's quest to repeat as GLIAC champions falls short

The Bulldogs began their quest to repeat as GLIAC tournament champions with a win over Michigan Tech.

The fourth place Bulldogs (10-5-5, 7-2-5 GLIAC) beat the fifth place Huskies 3-1 on Tuesday, Nov. 1, to advance from the quarterfinals to the semifinals. In the semifinal match, they ultimately came short and lost 3-0 against Grand Valley.

 The win over Michigan Tech also ensured a season sweep against the Huskies, as the Bulldogs won all three matches (two regular season, one GLIAC playoffs).

“It’s playoff time,” head coach Greg Henson said. “Everything is on the line. It’s one game at a time. You’re playing for your postseason life… We knew that it was going to be a tough game. We knew we drew a very, very tough opponent. Tech is always well coached, very organized and hard to break down.”

Scoring opened early for the Bulldogs as freshman midfielder Avery Comartin netted her first collegiate goal just over seven minutes into the game.

Sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Kubacki was only forced to make two saves in the first half. The Bulldogs went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

After halftime, sophomore goalkeeper Darya Mosallaei replaced Kubacki in net.

Henson said the change was merely a personnel decision. He added that they were putting themselves in the best position to win.

(From left)-Katie Nestico, Payton Price, Avery Comartin and Nikki May celebrate Price’s goal that gave Ferris a 2-0 lead during their quarterfinal victory over Michigan Tech. Photo courtesy of Ferris Athletics.

When play resumed, the Bulldogs started right back up and scored another goal only three minutes into the second half. The 2-0 lead was courtesy of senior forward Payton Price.

“We played our hearts out today,” Price said. “We knew if we didn’t win, there could be a possibility we weren’t going to play again. I think we just put it all out there.”

Late in the second half, the Huskies took advantage of a penalty kick and cut the score in half. 

In the waning minutes of the second half, freshman defender Bella Vallone helped secure the lead with a shot that slid right through the top right corner of the goal post. Vallone’s goal, like Comartin’s, was her first goal of her collegiate career. The Bulldogs held onto their 3-1 lead and defeated the Huskies.

“To come away from a team that’s been struggling all season to score goals to getting three goals in the playoffs from three different players,” Henson said. “Two players [got] their first collegiate goals as freshmen today. Can’t be any more proud of the group.”

Ferris’ three goals is the highest number of goals scored by the Bulldogs since their 4-0 win against Purdue Northwest on Oct. 7.

The 2021 team, who won the GLIAC championship, scored 52 goals throughout their regular season. This years’ team scored 24 goals.

11 of the goals came from senior forward Isabella Zamborini, who was out of the game for an undisclosed reason.

Despite the absence of their leading scorer, the Bulldogs survived to face Grand Valley on Friday, Nov. 4, in the semifinals.

Mosallaei got the start for Ferris and allowed three goals in a 3-0 loss. She also recorded seven saves. 

The Bulldogs registered eight shots on goal but were unable to score. 

Grand Valley started the scoring just under two minutes into the game. They also scored again midway through the first half to take a 2-0 lead into halftime.

The Lakers tacked on an insurance goal late in the second half to ensure a 3-0 victory over Ferris.

Grand Valley went on to win the GLIAC championship. 

Zamborini was awarded All-GLIAC First Team honors, while Jessie Bandyk and Lindsay Cole received Second Team honors. Nikki May was an honorable mention. 

Following their semifinal loss to Grand Valley, Ferris eyed an appearance in the NCAA DII National Tournament for the second consecutive season. On Monday, the selection show revealed that they earned a six seed and will Ashland, the three seed, on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 3 pm. 

Ferris lost 1-0 against Ashland Sept. 2 this season at home. Grand Valley is the top seed in Ferris’ region, so another potential rematch awaits.