The UMD soccer team earned two crucial wins over the weekend. The Bulldogs earned their first home victories and first NSIC victories of the season with wins over Southwest Minnesota State and Sioux Falls Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
UMD (2-4 NSIC, 3-4 overall) had dropped its first four conference games of the season after winning a non-conference matchup against Northern Michigan to start the year.
On Monday, freshman goaltender Marissa Rosa earned NSIC Defensive Player of the Week honors after earning two shutouts over the weekend.
“It’s a great feeling,” Rosa said. “I’m so honored to have that in my name. It’s just an awesome feeling. It’s so great.”
The Bulldogs started the weekend with a 1-0 win in a tight 1-0 victory over Southwest Minnesota Saturday at Malosky Stadium.
Sophomore midfielder Jennifer Smith netted the loan goal for the Bulldogs, a one-timer from junior forward Dani Potter from just in front of the net midway through the second half.
Rosa stopped all four shots on goal, earning the first shutout of her collegiate career. The UMD offense one-upped Southwest Minnesota, putting five shots on goal in the game.
Sunday was more of the same for Rosa and the Bulldogs as they rolled to a 6-0 victory over Sioux Falls.
Rosa earned her second shutout in as many days, stopping all five shots she faced.
Her counterpart, Corrin Cook, didn’t fare so well. The Cougars goalie stopped an impressive 11 shots in the game, but the Bulldogs still managed to push six through.
UMD spread around the scoring, with a total of 11 different players finding their way onto the score sheet.
The goals were scored by six different players – Potter (who also added two additional assists), sophomore defenseman Riley Allen, junior midfielder Sally Stromme, senior midfielder Kelsey Gratz, sophomore forward Maureen Stormont and freshman forward Leah Nesheim.
The game marked the first conference matchup between UMD and Sioux Falls, which joined the NSIC this season.
But after the weekend, all the attention was on UMD’s freshman goalie.
“It was awesome, especially since it was my first home college games,” Rosa said. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team.”
The Bulldogs, who were picked to finish third in the NSIC, have 10 conference games left this season to solidify a berth in the NSIC tournament and potentially the NCAA tournament.
“I definitely believe it’s a confidence boost,” Rosa said. “We’ll start going up (in the conference standings).”
UMD will take on Augustana College and Wayne State on a long road trip this weekend.
BY TOM OLSEN firstname.lastname@example.org