The Ashland University women's soccer team endured its longest road trip of the season, but the Eagles are prepped to take on Michigan Tech in the GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal on Tuesday (Oct. 30) at 3 p.m. in Houghton.
The Eagles (9-3-5) also have NCAA Tournament implications to consider. They enter the postseason ranked No. 4 in the latest Midwest Region rankings, but the Eagles have since tied the No. 3-ranked team Saginaw Valley State in the regular season finale last Friday. Ashland, with a top eight ranking by Monday would solidify its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004.
The Eagles are the No. 5 seed in the GLIAC Tournament, while the Huskies (10-5-1) are the No. 4 seed. Michigan Tech was ranked No. 10 in the latest regional ranking and is looking to stay alive in the race for the national tournament.
The Huskies gave the Eagles their only home loss of the season in a 2-0 decision on Oct. 21.
The Eagles, under the direction of first-year interim head coach Taylor Clarke, will be looking to replicate the success they saw early in the season when they started on an 11-game unbeaten streak.
Ashland is averaging nearly two goals per game this season while maintaining a 0.71 goals against average – the fourth and second-best marks in the GLIAC, respectively.
Twelve Eagles have found the back of the net this season. Redshirt-junior Deijah Swihart, who has missed the last nine games due to injury, leads the team with six goals. Sophomore Hannah Simard has five goals and freshmen Makenzie Kelly and Faith Lewis have four each.
Defensively, Wright is the anchor on the back line, along with fellow center back, freshman Tori Baker. The Eagles are allowing just 9.4 shots per game.
Sophomore keeper Hannah Lee has been terrific in 13 starts for the Eagles with a 0.81 goals against average and 49 saves. Her understudy, sophomore Abby Lampe, has filled in admirably as well without allowing a goal in four games.
The winner of Tuesday's quarterfinal will face the winner of top-seed Grand Valley State and No. 8-seed Purdue Northwest in the semifinal on Friday.