The Ashland University men's soccer team kept its fourth clean sheet in the last five games and sophomore center back Joseph Renner found the net in the second half as the Eagles blanked host Davenport, 1-0, on Friday (Oct. 11) afternoon in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Ashland (4-6, 4-3 GLIAC) has now won four of its last five games and sit just three points off the top of the GLIAC table. It was the first conference loss of the season for Davenport.
It is the first time since the program's return in 2016 the Eagles have recorded three straight shutouts. The last time Ashland did that was Oct. 17-24, 2010.
Davenport also conceded its first goal in conference play when Renner made the only tally of the game in the 67th minute.
Renner won a free kick 40 yards from goal as he out-jumped a Davenport midfielder for a 50-50 ball and was brought down in the process.
Renner joined the fray at the edge of the 18-yard box late as senior defender Fred Francis sent in a free kick that his center back mate put into the back of the net. It was Renner's second career goal and his first of the season. It marked the first assist of the season for Francis.
After that, redshirt-sophomore Marshall Ney saw that the Panthers would be kept off the board.
He came up big in the 83rd minute as the Panthers brought numbers forward. The ball came to Matt Whelan, who was denied by Ney off his line before Brayden Texer sent his shot wide.
Then in the 89th minute it was Ney again who confidently came off his line to near the edge of the area to parry away a chance by Carson Brinks.
Overall, Ney was credited with three saves to preserve his fourth shutout.
The Panthers maintained a 13-9 edge in shots, including a 7-0 mark in the first half. Ashland led in corners, 6-5. Joshua Doupe made four saves for Davenport, which still sits atop the GLIAC standings.
The Eagles will now have a week off before returning to the pitch next Friday (Oct. 18) against Saginaw Valley at 7 p.m. at Ferguson Field. That will start a four-game homestand for Ashland.