This academic year in athletics was filled with a lot of new: a new president, a new head coach and a new performance facility. However, one thing hasn’t changed in Ferris sports: a winning culture.
These are some program-defining moments the Bulldogs saw in 2023:
1. Football goes back-to-back
One year after avenging their 2018 loss to the Blazers, Ferris crushed Colorado School of Mines 41-14 at McKinney ISD Stadium in Texas. Led behind one of the most dominant championship performances in DII history, the Bulldogs became the fourth team ever to win consecutive national championships and obtained the largest margin of victory amongst the four feats.
2. Women’s soccer reaches Final Four for first time
Ferris battled through snow, negative temperatures and two top-10 ranked teams in Division II to reach their first national semi-final in program history. The Bulldogs won two games virtue of penalty kicks, the most among all 64 teams in the tournament and the only team road team to win in that fashion.
3. Women’s golf breaks 16-year drought
The Bulldogs won their first GLIAC tournament title since 2007 after defeating defending champs Grand Valley State University and underdog Saginaw Valley State University. Ferris clinched the title through a school record performance in the stroke play opening round and an individual 18-hole scoring performance by junior Alayna Eldred.
4. Volleyball downs Lakers in GLIAC Championship thriller
In their potential final match in a packed Wink Arena, Ferris defeated Grand Valley State University 19-17 in a fifth-set decider to win their ninth conference championship in program history. The Bulldogs overcame a 0-6 start to the season to win 26 of their next 30 games, a regular season conference title, and reach their second-straight regional final match.
5. Hockey wins first playoff game since 2016
Thanks to overtime winners by sophomore Nick Nardecchia and senior Jason Brancheau, the Bulldogs fought off the hosting Falcons of Bowling Green State University to win their first Mason Cup playoff win since the CCHA was re-established. Ferris finished the season with 18 victories, including a road sweep of nationally ranked Minnesota State University and a GLI semi-final win over Michigan State University.
6. Men’s tennis takes number 20
Ferris tennis earned their sixth GLIAC title over the last eight years following the men’s undefeated conference schedule sweep. The men’s team finished 21st in the DII Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings and boasted a 23rd overall ranked pairing of Benjamin Lortie and Jan Koupil.
7. Cross country and track & field records historic year
Bulldog running not only obtained their best team finishes in almost ten years at the DII Midwest Cross Country Regional Championship, but also picked up the highest combined point total in both indoor and outdoor GLIAC Championships since at least 2010. This season included four broken school records, five top-five marks in program history and four GLIAC all-conference medalists.