Looking for a result which would help its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament chances on Friday (Oct. 12) afternoon at Northwood, Ashland University's men's soccer team earned one.
Starting a four-match road swing, the Eagles took a key 3-1 decision at Northwood. The Eagles are 4-8-1 overall and 3-6 in the GLIAC, while the Timberwolves are 5-7, 3-5.
With three points on Friday, AU, winner of three of its last five outings, vaulted into a tie for fourth place in the conference, pending the results of two other Friday contests. Six teams make the conference tournament, starting Oct. 30.
"Positive result, a continuation of how we've been playing lately," said Ashland head coach Oliver Slawson. "We started slow and allowed Northwood too much time and respect. They're the reigning conference regular-season champion, and at home, so it's natural a little, maybe.
"Second half, we were superb. First to everything, and played with a real desire and determination. Scored three and created several chances. There's a good spirit in the group, and they're starting to really come together. Last two games, we've beat last season's regular-season and conference champions. That says a lot about the type of character and people we have in our locker room."
Northwood got on the scoreboard in the 41st minute, when midfielder Chase Clark found the back of the net for his first goal of 2018. The assist went to defender Will Alderton, his first helper of the season.
Ashland's first counter came in the 75th minute, when junior defender John Duldner's header following a corner kick off the foot of sophomore midfielder Yusuke Yasumasu knotted the game at 1. For Duldner, it was his second goal of the campaign; for Yasumasu, his second assist.
Then, in the 79th minute, Yasumasu collected his first goal – and first game-winning tally – of 2018 on a misplay from the back past the Timberwolves goalkeeper. Insurance came in the 89th minute on a rebound to sophomore forward Justin Libertowski, whose team-leading seventh goal of the season provided the final margin of victory.
Sophomore goalkeeper Dimitrius Karousos earned his third win of the fall in the nets for AU, making five saves and lowering his season goals-against average to 1.11.
Ashland will finish the GLIAC weekend on Sunday (Oct. 14) at 2:30 p.m. at Northern Michigan.