PREVIEW: Women's Soccer Starts 15th Season On Road This Week

PREVIEW: Women's Soccer Starts 15th Season On Road This Week

at Wisconsin-Parkside
Thursday, Sept. 5 - 2:15 p.m. (ET)

at Lewis (Ill.)
Saturday, Sept. 7 – 3:30 p.m. (ET)

The Opening Kick: The Ferris State University women's soccer team will open its 2013 season, the program's 15th season of intercollegiate competition, this week on the road. The Bulldogs officially start the regular-season by squaring off against Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday, Sept. 5, in Kenosha, Wis.  Match time is set for 2:15 p.m. (ET).  FSU then visits Lewis (Ill.) on Saturday, Sept. 7, to wrap up its opening week of action with a 3:30 p.m. (ET) tilt scheduled in Romeoville, Ill.

2013 Record: Ferris State is currently 0-0 overall and 0-0 in the GLIAC to date this season.

The Head Coach: Andy McCaslin, 1st season, 0-0-0 (.000). McCaslin, who served as a volunteer assistant coach for Ferris State during the fall 2012 season, was tabbed as FSU's new head coach in January and will begin his first season at the Bulldog helm this fall. Prior to joining the Ferris State staff, McCaslin served as an assistant women's soccer coach at NCAA Division I Western Michigan.

2013 GLIAC Coaches Poll: Ferris State was picked to finish sixth in the 2013 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Preseason Coaches Poll. The league's 13 head coaches participated in the balloting, but were not allowed to vote for their team. Grand Valley State was picked to finish first with Michigan Tech second and Saginaw Valley State third. 

Returning Firepower: Ferris State will welcome back 18 returnees from last campaign for the 2013 season with four seniors on the roster in veteran goalkeeper Rachel McCollum, defenders Amanda Foster and Audra Merino along with Courtney Meharg.  A pair of returning National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II All-Midwest Region honorees are also back in Foster and junior midfielder Riley Wood, who claimed all-region second and third team laurels, respectively, last fall.

Coming Off Good Year: FSU reacehd the GLIAC Tournament semifinals for only the second time in school history a year ago.  Ferris State concluded the 2012 campaign with a 9-7-3 overall record and the program's first winning season and highest league finish since 2005.  FSU also made its third consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance.

Season Openers: The Bulldogs are 7-6-1 all-time (.538 winning pct.) in season-opening matches to date. A year ago, the Bulldogs fell 3-2 to Indianapolis (8/31/12) in the opener at the Grand Valley State Kickoff Tournament in Allendale.  FSU has dropped four consecutive season openers to date with the last win coming by a 1-0 score over Southern Indiana in 2008 (8/29) at the GVSU Tourney.

2012 Season: Ferris State concluded the 2012 campaign with a 9-7-3 overall record and the program's first winning season and highest league finish since 2005.

FSU's 15th Season: The 2013 campaign represents Ferris State's 15th season of women's soccer. The Bulldogs own an all time mark of 102-127-22 (.450) to date since the program's inception in 1999. The 2003 (11-5-1) and 2005 (11-7-0) seasons hold the program's record for most victories in a single campaign.

Home Opener: Ferris State opens its home slate facing Madonna in non-league action on Sept. 13 at the FSU Soccer Field in Big Rapids.  The Bulldogs will open GLIAC play two days later at home versus Northwood on Sept. 15.

The Schedule: Overall, Ferris State will play 17 regular-season matches during the 2013 regular season, highlighted by eight home matches and a pair of outings against West Michigan rival Grand Valley State.

The Opponents:

Wisconsin-Parkside: Like the Bulldogs, the Rangers are playing their first match of 2013 this Thursday. They were picked to finish third in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Preseason Poll. UWP finished its 2012 campaign with a 14-5-1 overall record and an 11-3 mark in conference action, finishing the season ranked 15th nationally after advancing to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. It was UW-Parkside's third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and sixth trip overall while tallying a winning record for the 14th consecutive season under head coach Troy Fabiano.

Lewis (Ill.): The Flyers open the season against the Bulldogs at Lewis Stadium following a 10-7-1 overall mark in 2012. LU posted an 8-7-1 mark in GLVC action a year ago and was 6-3 at home under head coach Chris Koenig.  Lewis tied for 10th overall in the 2013 GLVC Preseason Coaches Poll.