Big Rapids, Mich. - Fall preseason camp will officially get underway for the Ferris State University women's soccer team and first-year head coach Andy McCaslin on Monday (Aug. 19).
The Bulldogs open practice with a variety of other activities taking place such as initial testing, team meetings, physicals and NCAA compliance work. A total of 26 student-athletes are expected to report for preseason workouts, which includes eight incoming freshmen.
Ferris State will welcome back 18 returnees from last campaign for the 2013 season with four seniors on the roster in veteran goalkeeper Rachel McCollum, defenders Amanda Foster and Audra Merino along with Courtney Meharg. A pair of returning National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II All-Midwest Region honorees are also back in Foster and junior midfielder Riley Wood, who claimed all-region second and third team laurels, respectively, last fall.
McCaslin, who served as a volunteer assistant coach for Ferris State during the fall 2012 season, was tabbed as FSU's new head coach in January and will begin his first season at the Bulldog helm this fall. Prior to joining the Ferris State staff, McCaslin served as an assistant women's soccer coach at NCAA Division I Western Michigan from April 2011 to August 2012.
In his initial season on the Bulldog staff last fall, McCaslin helped FSU to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament semifinals for only the second time in school history. Ferris State concluded the 2012 campaign with a 9-7-3 overall record and the program's first winning season and highest league finish since 2005. FSU also made its third consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance.
The Bulldogs officially start the regular-season by squaring off against Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday, Sept. 5, in Kenosha, Wis. Match time is set for 2:15 p.m. (ET). FSU then visits Lewis (Ill.) on Saturday, Sept. 7, to wrap up its opening week of action with a 3:30 p.m. (ET) tilt scheduled in Romeoville, Ill.
Ferris State opens its home slate facing Madonna in non-league action on Sept. 13 at the FSU Soccer Field in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs will open GLIAC play two days later at home versus Northwood on Sept. 15.
Overall, Ferris State will play 17 regular-season matches during the 2013 regular season, highlighted by eight home matches and a pair of outings against West Michigan rival Grand Valley State.
The 2013 campaign will represent the 15th season of Bulldog women's soccer since the program's inception in 1999.