The Ashland University men's soccer team will play its final three games of the regular season at Ferguson Field where the Eagles are 6-1 in their last seven games, dating back to last season.
The Eagles (7-7, 2-7 GLIAC), who have won three of their last four games, can also help their chances of locking up a bid in the GLIAC Tournament with a couple positive results this weekend, first on Friday (Oct. 20) against Northern Michigan at 4:30 p.m., then against Saginaw Valley State on Sunday (Oct. 22) at 3 p.m.
The Eagles (6 points) sit in a tie for sixth place with Northern Michigan in the GLIAC standings with the top six qualifying for a spot in the tournament. AU and NMU sit one point behind Purdue Northwest in the standings, but both the Pride and Wildcats have played one more conference game than the Eagles. Ashland does not close the conference season until next Friday (Oct. 27) against Tiffin.
The Wildcats (4-9-1, 2-8 GLIAC) are coming off a 2-0 win over Purdue Northwest with their other league win coming against the Eagles in Marquette, 3-0, on Oct. 1.
The Cardinals (10-2-1, 7-1-1 GLIAC) are tied with Northwood for the top spot in the conference standings. SVSU was also ranked No. 5 in the first release of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional rankings. In the teams' first meeting on Sept. 29, the Eagles produced opportunities, but were not able to equalize in a 1-0 defeat in Saginaw.
The Eagles are coming off a quality, 3-2 road win at Findlay that improved the team's record against nonconference region opponents to 5-0 on the season. Ashland got goals from sophomore Andrew Pearson and freshmen Jacob Koehler and Caleb Whitaker to open up a 3-0 lead. The Oilers got within a goal on a set piece, but the Eagles sealed the win.
As the season has progressed, the Eagles have built a strong offensive attack, having scored 26 goals on the season, already surpassing last season's total by eight. In just the last four games, AU has scored 12 goals.
The Eagles rank third in the conference in goals and lead the league in turning 19.7 percent of their shots into goals.
It has been a balanced effort with seven players tallying at least two goals on the season and the team is led by a trio with five goals, including Pearson, sophomore Thomas Ardron and freshman Justin Libertowski, the latter of whom is tied for third in the conference with 14 points.
Freshman goalkeeper Dimitrius Karousos leads the GLIAC and ranks 11th nationally with 75 saves on the season.