The Ferris State University women's soccer team will play eight home matches during the 2009 season as part of its upcoming challenging 18-game schedule.
The 2009 season will represent Ferris State's 11th year of intercollegiate competition since the program's inception back in 1999.
"I'm really excited about the strength of our schedule once again this year and we start out playing four highly-competitive Division II teams," said FSU head coach Neathan Gibson, who will embark upon his fourth season at Ferris State this fall. "Playing high-caliber teams like this will help us prepare for our conference matches and going up against this higher level of competition year after year has definitely helped us play at a much higher level."
The Bulldogs will open the season with their first two outings in Minnesota. Ferris' season opener will be on Friday, Aug. 28, versus Minnesota State before the Bulldogs go up against Winona State on Sunday, Aug. 30.
Following the two non-conference matches in Minnesota, Ferris State will entertain Lewis (Ill.) Tuesday, Sept. 1 in its season home opener at the FSU Soccer Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The remaining seven regular-season home matches on the 2009 team's schedule are all Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contests. FSU will face Northern Michigan (Sept. 20), Tiffin (Sept. 25) and Findlay (Sept. 27) in September before battling Ashland (Oct. 9), Saginaw Valley State (Oct. 23), and Northwood (Oct. 25).
Ferris State opens the conference portion of its 2009 slate Sunday, Sept. 13 with a visit to Grand Valley State and closes out its regular season with a home league matchup against the Lakers on Saturday, Oct. 31, in Big Rapids. GVSU advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Championship match last season.
Three of FSU's 2009 opponents were NCAA Regional Tournament qualifiers as Minnesota State, Winona State, and Grand Valley State all made post-season appearances. The Bulldogs' opposition for this upcoming fall registered a combined 124-86-10 record (.586 winning percentage) a season ago.
"Our ladies are ready and excited about the season ahead," said Gibson. "They are doing a wonderful job and their attitudes are top class again this spring. I am very proud of them!
"Reaching the (NCAA-II) national tournament and winning is always your ultimate goal as a team. Accomplishing the small important steps to get there is where our focus is and in the last three seasons our ladies have made tremendous strides," added Gibson.
FSU compiled a 9-9-1 overall record, which included a fourth-place tying 8-7-1 GLIAC mark for the 2008 campaign. The Bulldogs earned a berth in the GLIAC Women's Soccer Tournament for the second consecutive year a season ago and advanced to the semifinal round of the conference tourney.