Ashland University officials have announced that it is reinstating the men’s soccer program on campus starting with the fall 2016 season. The program was discontinued prior to the fall 2013 season.
“We are very excited to be able to announce that we are reinstating the men’s soccer program at Ashland University beginning with the fall 2016 season,” said AU President Dr. Carlos Campo. “Our student-athletes excel both on and off the field, and we anticipate that student-athletes competing in men’s soccer next year will add to and further diversify our tradition of excellence.”
AU Athletic Director Al King said the department has begun a national search for the men’s soccer coach and is starting to schedule games for the 2016 season. “Our main task right now is to spread the word so that prospective male student-athletes know they have an opportunity to once again play soccer for Ashland University,” he said.
The Ashland University’s men’s soccer program began play both as a varsity sport and as a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the fall of 1995. In their 18 seasons as a varsity sport, the Eagle men had an overall record of 171-127-29 (.567). The reinstated program will practice and compete at Ferguson Soccer Field, the state-of-the art sport turf soccer field that was made possible by the donation of local businessman Ben Ferguson. Ferguson Field was completed in 2010 as part of the Dwight Schar Athletic Complex and also serves as the home field for the AU women’s soccer team.
Ashland reached the NCAA Division II postseason five times – 2001, 2003 and 2008-10. The Eagles earned a spot in the D-II Elite Eight in 2001. Also included in that time was a GLIAC Tournament championship in 2010, as well as four GLIAC regular-season – 2005 and 2008-10. The 2005 regular-season crown snapped Mercyhurst’s 10-year run as conference champions/co-champions.
During its first stint in the GLIAC, Ashland’s men earned three Coach of the Year awards, two Defensive Player of the Year awards and two Freshman of the Year awards.
The reinstatement of men’s soccer gives Ashland a total of 10 men’s sports – baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and wrestling – to go along with the 10 women’s sports – basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and volleyball. A perennial powerhouse in NCAA Division II athletics, AU has finished in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup all-sports standings Top 10 for eight consecutive seasons, placing second in 2014-15.