It's a "quality over quantity" week in Eagle Nation.
While the docket for Ashland University athletics is lighter than usual for a week in September, there is plenty of intrigue within that docket. The Eagle football team is playing its first road game of 2016 in a nationally-televised Top 10 matchup, volleyball and women's soccer both are at home twice, men's soccer has a road-home split and women's golf gets back on the links for its second tournament of 2016-17.
FOOTBALL – Ashland, the leader of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's South Division at 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the GLIAC, will travel to Ferris State (3-0, 3-0), the co-leader of the GLIAC North, on Saturday (Sept. 24) at 3:30 p.m. The Eagles have won the first three games of 2016 by a cumulative score of 119-28, while the Bulldogs have won by two points and one point on the road each of the last two weeks.
Saturday afternoon's game, featuring the No. 5 Eagles and No. 6 Bulldogs, will be broadcast live on American Sports Network.
WOMEN'S SOCCER – The Eagles, ranked No. 21 in the country and starting the season at 3-0-2 following five non-conference games, begin GLIAC play on Friday (Sept. 23) at 7 p.m. at Ferguson Field against Lake Erie (4-1, 0-1) and Sunday (Sept. 25) at noon at home against Walsh (4-1-1, 1-0). Ashland is 2-0-1 at home in 2016.
Thanks to the two ties, Ashland has played 40 extra minutes this fall. Even with that, in 490 total minutes played, the Eagles have yielded just two goals heading into conference action.
VOLLEYBALL – Ashland (6-5, 0-2), which played 10 of its first 11 matches away from Kates Gymnasium, comes back home for a GLIAC weekend on Friday at 7 p.m. against Michigan Tech (5-5, 2-0) and on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Northern Michigan (7-4, 2-0).
The Eagles will look to continue their recent home success (8-2 since the start of 2015) before heading back on the road for five straight GLIAC matches and the Midwest Region Crossover.
MEN'S SOCCER – The Eagles (2-3, 1-3), coming off a stretch of three games in five days, will play their final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday (Sept. 21) at 4 p.m. at Malone (1-4-1) before returning to Ferguson Field on Sunday at 5 p.m. against Ohio Dominican (2-3, 2-2).
In all, Ashland will have played five games in a 12-day period.
WOMEN'S GOLF – After taking what will be 18 days between competitions, Ashland will play its second tournament of 2016-17 on Saturday and Sunday at the Gilda's Club Laker Fall Invitational at The Meadows in Allendale, Mich.
The Eagles haven't played since opening the season at the two-day Youngstown State University Kickoff Invitational on Sept. 5-6.