#12 Eagles Drop Regular Season Finale at Saginaw Valley

#12 Eagles Drop Regular Season Finale at Saginaw Valley

The Ashland University women's soccer team lost in its regular season finale on Friday (Nov. 8) afternoon, 4-2, at host Saginaw Valley in University Center, Mich.

The defeat dropped the Eagles (13-3-1, 7-2 GLIAC) to the No. 3 seed in the upcoming GLIAC Tournament as the finished in a tie with the Cardinals (10-6, 7-2 GLIAC) for second place. SVSU won the tiebreaker with Friday's victory.

The Eagles will host the GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal game at Ferguson Field on Sunday (Nov. 10) at 1 p.m. against No. 6 seed Davenport. AU beat the Panthers on Sunday, 2-1, in overtime.

Because it is a postseason game, tickets will be sold at prices of $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. The first 50 AU students presenting ID at the game will be admitted for free. All others will be charged admission.

The Eagles, ranked No. 12 in the United Soccer Coaches poll, scored an early goal, but the Cardinals scored the next three to take a 3-1 lead.

Sophomore Makenzie Kelly got Ashland on the board in the 10th minute of action after junior Nadya Boualany drew a foul for the Eagles just outside the center circle. Sophomore center back Tori Baker drove the free kick near the front of the goal where Kelly ran across it and deflected her header past SVSU keeper Alyssa Watts.

Kelly now has four goals and Baker registered her fifth assist.

The Cardinals answered with an equalizer in the 16th minute on a goal by Valentina Giambanco from a cross by Molly Vanderhoff. Amy Babon's goal off an assist by Whitnet Fleming gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead in the 31st minute.

Saginaw Valley, which out-shot Ashland by an 8-3 margin the first half, tacked on its third goal in the 47th minute just after halftime on a shot by Molly Vanderhoff.

The Eagles cut the margin in half in the 72nd minute off a set piece just outside the box after senior Juliana Markovic drew a foul. Senior Deijah Swihart drove the free kick into the wall, but the deflection came out for Markovic, whose shot was saved by Watts. The rebound fell to sophomore Faith Lewis, who scored her seventh goal of the season.

Ashland was not able to find the equalizer before Saginaw Valley put the game away in the 86th minute on a penalty kick by Giambanco.

The Eagles are ranked No. 3 in the NCAA Division II Midwest Region rankings with the top eight teams in the region earning bids into the NCAA Tournament after the conference tournament.