Postgame Highlights & Interview
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's soccer squad had its record-breaking season come to an end on Friday (Nov. 16) as FSU suffered a 2-1 setback to archrival and nationally top-ranked Grand Valley State in the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen in Allendale.
The Bulldogs took an early lead 1:04 into the Midwest Regional Championship Game, but the Lakers rallied scored the eventual game-winner in the 69th minute to advance to the national quarterfinals with the win at the GVSU Soccer Field.
In the third meeting this campaign between the two longtime league rivals, FSU's Tia VanSuilichem stunned the Lakers with a shot over the outscretched arms of the keeper in a numbers situation for the Bulldogs at 1:04 of the first half off an assist from freshman forward Pia Nagel. The goal was VanSuilichem's sixth of the year and third in the NCAA Tournament.
While the score stood until late in the first half, the Lakers did test the FSU defense with 25 shots in the first half, including seven on goal.
Grand Valley State evened the score at 29:30 when Timia Robinson tallied her fourth marker of the campaign on a one-time finish off a long cross from Sydney O'Donnell.
The Bulldogs and Lakers remained deadlocked at 1-1 heading into halftime and the score remained even until 69:48 when GVSU's Chelsea Graves tallied the eventual game-winner for her fifth goal this season. It came off an aerial cross with a pass back to the middle and assists went to Caitie Baron and O'Donnell.
Ferris State had a few oppportunities late, but could not find the net as their season came to a close.
Overall, GVSU held a 34-5 margin in total shots with 10 on goal to three for FSU. The Lakers also received 10 of the 11 corner kick tries in the contest.
The Bulldogs had a record-breaking season come to a close with a school all-time best 17-4-3 overall record this season under head coach Andy McCaslin. FSU reached the national tournament for the first time in school history and won their opening two games at home last weekend before the loss to the Lakers.
Ferris State finished a memorable season with multipe school records such as the most wins, fewest losses, highest winning percentage, best road record, most goals scored and most shutouts in a single campaign. This year also marked the first time the Bulldog squad has ever had three different goalkeepers record at least one shutout.
In addition, FSU was nationally ranked for most of the season, which is the first time in the program's 20-year history FSU has ranked among the nation's top 25 teams.
The Bulldogs finished second in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics (GLIAC) Regular Season standings, the highest finish in program history before also making their first-ever appearance in the GLIAC Tournament Championship game.
A total of 31 of the Bulldogs' 35 squad members are eligible to return next season.