SEASON PREVIEW: Bulldog Soccer Hoping To Continue Climb In 2013

SEASON PREVIEW: Bulldog Soccer Hoping To Continue Climb In 2013

By Nichole Boehnke

Big Rapids, Mich. - Although the Ferris State University women's soccer team was predicted to finish sixth in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) as part of the league's 2013 Preseason Coaches' Poll, they have other plans in mind.

They officially start their season Thursday, Sept. 5, in Kenosha, Wis.,. against Wisconsin-Parkside . The Bulldogs are attempting to continue a consecutive streak of four-straight winning seasons.

First-year head coach Andy McCaslin is very pleased with the direction of the program, which has won 23 games over the last three seasons, the most the program has had in a similar span.  His approach provides reason for optimism.

"I like organizational defense and then to attack from a good spot as a result of that defending," McCaslin said.

Last season, Ferris State's improvement could be seen as they qualified for the GLIAC Tournament Final Four with a comeback win against favored Findlay in the opening round. This enabled the Bulldogs to finish fourth in the GLIAC North Division Standings.

Some of the returning players this fall for FSU include seniors Amanda Foster and Rachel McCollum, and juniors Riley Wood and Leanne Boehm.

"I think it's a good group this season and I believe the freshmen are really able to help us," Foster said. "I'm excited to see the level of play."

There are eight incoming freshmen, which will provide the team with many defensive options. There were a few injuries during preseason camp, but most players are recovering in time for the season to begin.

"I want to improve game to game and have fun along the way as that's when good things come," McCaslin said. "The season goals are a progression, first making the GLIAC Tournament, hosting a game, and winning that game. Our highest goal is to qualify into the NCAA tournament and hopefully win a few games."

Following the game in Wisconsin on Thursday, the Bulldogs will travel to face Lewis on Saturday, Sept. 7, in Romeoville, Ill. The first home game is Friday, Sept. 13, against Madonna.