Ferris soccer team posts 2-0 shutout for first NCAA tournament win

The Ferris State women’s soccer team defeated McKendree (Ill.) 2-0 on Thursday. (Ferris Athletics photo)

BIG RAPIDS – The nationally 13th-ranked Ferris State University women’s soccer team won its first NCAA Tournament game in school history as the Bulldogs posted a first round 2-0 Midwest Region shutout over the McKendree (Ill.) Bearcats at the Bulldog Soccer Field on Thursdayn.

In what is already the winningest season in school history, the Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s second round to take on the Ohio Valley Fighting Scots on Saturday at noon in Big Rapids in the sub-region final.

Ferris State jumped on top only eight minutes into the contest when freshman Pia Nagel drove in her team-leading 10th goal of the season from senior Carley Dubbert (7) and freshman Grace VerHage (4), giving FSU a 1-0 lead.

The goal broke Ferris State’s all-time single season team record for goals scored as the 47th of the year. Nagel’s goal stood as the game-winning goal, which is good for her team-record seventh game-winning marker of the campaign.

The Bulldogs outshot the Bearcats 9-8 in the opening half, but trailed 5-4 in shots on goal before turning it on in the second half. Ferris State outshot McKendree 12-1 in the second frame with an 8-0 shots on goal margin.

In the second frame, at 62:29, Ferris State added the insurance tally when junior Tia VanSuilichem chipped in her fourth goal of the season from sophomore Maddie Dickens (2) to make it a 2-0 edge on a service from the left side of the box, crossing the face of the frame towards the right goal post where VanSuilichem tapped it home.

The rest of the way, the Bulldogs pressed the attack and walked away winners for their team-record 16th time this season.

In goal, Ferris State junior Alison Chesterfield made five stops, all in the first half, for her fourth shutout of the season and moved to 9-1-0 for the Bulldogs. McKendree’s Zoe Brochu went the distance and made 10 saves on 12 shots on goal and took the loss, falling to 13-5-1.

In this, the first NCAA tournament game in school history, the Bulldogs moved to 1-0 in NCAA tournament action, two wins farther than Ferris State women’s soccer has ever advanced in a season to date.

Saturday’s NCAA second round region contest at the Bulldog Soccer Field is slated for a noon kickoff. The first 200 FSU students with valid ID to arrive will receive free entry starting one hour prior to the start of the contest.

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