Women’s soccer starts perfect

Bulldogs beat Maryville and Northwood for perfect 2-0 start

Nine months removed from their defeat against Westchester in the NCAA DII national semifinals, Bulldog women’s soccer have started up hot following back-to-back wins against Maryville and Northwood.

The Bulldogs (2-0-0) started their season on Thursday, Aug. 31 with a 2-0 win against the Maryville Saints (0-1-1) and continued their winning ways with a 3-1 win against the Northwood Timberwolves (0-1-1) on Sept. 3.

Their first match against Maryville started slow as neither team could score in the first half. The stalemate continued deep into the second half before a shot from sophomore forward Haley Buckman beat the Maryville goalkeeper and dribbled past the goal line. 13 minutes after the gamewinning goal, freshman midfielder Isabella Baron lifted the ball past the netminder for her first collegiate goal and the final goal that gave the Bulldogs the 2-0 victory.

Ferris State’s had a continued dominance on defense, just as last year’s team. The Bulldog’s defensive stranglehold helped the team pitch their first shutout in their first game this season. Head coach Greg Henson has a simple belief when it comes to defense.

Freshman forward Katherine Welch celebrates her goal that put the Bulldogs up 3 – 1 with freshman forward Emerson Lukomski Photo by: Dylan Rider | Sports Editor

“I believe firmly in a simple notion: if they don’t score, we can’t lose,” Henson said. “We want to make sure that we keep them off the board and every game that we go into, [the goal is to] shut out our opponent, and then we got to find a way to find the goal. We’re strong defensively. That’s that’s where the core of our returning group is from is that backline and our midfield.”

Henson was pleased with the Bulldogs’ perfomance through the first game, calling it an “overall good game.”

Returning in net for the Bulldogs is standout junior goalkeeper Darya Mosallei. The Albuquerque, N.M. native saved all four of the shots faced for her first shut-out of the season. For her and the Bulldogs, this game acted as a measure of revenge.

“We lost to this team last year, so it was really important for us to redeem ourselves and come up with a win,” Mosallei said. “I think that the heat really affected us last year, and it’s no colder today. So keeping that in mind we hydrated really well. We knew what we had to do today.”

A year previous, the Bulldogs started the season off with a 2-1 loss to Maryville to sink to 0-1-0.

The Bulldogs’ second game of the season could not have started any different. Within the first minute of play, senior forward Payton Price netted the early lead for the team. 10 minutes later, sophomore defender Bella Vallone continued the Bulldog offense for a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, their shutout would be spoiled by a Northwood goal in the second half. In the 80th minute, the Bulldogs put the game away with a header from freshman forward Katherine Welch for the 3-1 win.

The win featured five combined yellow cards throughtout. Four for Northwood and one for Ferris. Price and the team knew what to expect coming into this match.

“We all know that when we’re playing someone, we’re gonna face their best game so we come prepared for that,” Price said. “We know that  we’re gonna have to be scrappy and we’re gonna have to be aggressive. That’s how we’re gonna win these games.”

Price felt that the Bulldogs got hit hard but they “hit back harder.”

In net for the Bulldogs was junior goalkeeper Lauren Kubacki. In her debut, she stopped seven of eight shots on goal. Henson finds the tandem of Mosallei and Kubacki to be solid.

“I think we have two of the top goalkeepers in the league,” Henson said. “There’s some other really talented goalkeepers in this league, but I put both of them up there. It’s a really a 1/1A type of situation that we have and we’re confident in both of them.”

The women will go on the road for four games before returning home on Sept. 22 for a match against the Northern Michigan Wildcats.