The Ferris State University women's soccer team turned in a strong effort defensively and also had some opportune scoring opportunities in its Friday (Sept. 3) afternoon 2010 season opener against Minnesota State, but in the end the Mavericks would claim a 1-0 decision over the Bulldogs at the FSU Soccer Field in Big Rapids, Mich.
Minnesota State netted the contest's only tally in the 26th minute as freshman Courtney Vallarelli took a pass from Nicole Dooher and put home the first goal of the 2010 campaign to give the visitors a one-goal advantage. Vallarelli was able to beat a Bulldog defender who appeared to lose her footing and kicked the ball from out front into a wide-open Ferris State goal. The Mavericks controlled play most of the opening 45 minutes of action as evidenced by totaling 11 shots to FSU's three total.
The second half saw head coach Matt Kellogg's squad come out and apply greater offensive pressure as the Bulldogs would hold a 10-5 advantage in shots for the second 45 minutes.
Ferris State almost had a chance to tie the match with a just over a minute remaining when sophomore defender Kasey Ruimveld's (Vicksburg) shot narrowly missed the Minnesota State goal and hit the post.
Ferris State finished the match with six shots on goal in wet, windy conditions while Minnesota State registered five shots on net. Sophomore forward Kelsey Aubil's (Wayland/Thornapple-Kellogg) chalked up a match-leading two shots on goal while four others - sophomore forward Cassie Aro (Gaines/Linden), senior defender Kristen March (Canton/Plymouth Salem), senior midfielder Kara Lovelace (East Kentwood), and freshman forward Emily Kraska (Bay City/John Glenn) each had a shot on the MSU net.
Freshman goalkeeper Rachel McCollum (Grand Blanc) recorded four saves in a complete match performance for Ferris State while Chelsey Eley started for the Mavericks and earned the win in playing the first half only. Brittany Cygan came in to relieve Eley at the start of the second half of play.
The Bulldogs continue their season-opening homestand this Sunday (Sept. 5) versus the Winona (Minn.) State Warriors in Big Rapids. The non-league encounter is scheduled for an 11 a.m. (EDT) start.