A 1,000-plus mile, 18-hour round road trip didn’t hinder the offense of the UMD soccer team over the weekend. The Bulldogs defeated Minot State 2-1 Saturday then followed up with a 4-0 rout of Mary less than 24 hours later. The Bulldogs continued their explosion as the top-ranked scoring offense in the NSIC (2.89 goals per game) with another dominating offensive performance. Along with the scoring duo of Dani Potter and Maureen Stormont, three different players cracked the scoreboard. Riley Allen, Megan Helberg and Katie Schneider each posted their first goals of the year over the weekend.
Allen and Potter scored theirs against the Minot State Beavers. Potter connected for the game-winner on a free kick in the 52nd minute. Helberg, Schneider and Stormont scored in a three-goal first half against the Mary Marauders. Stormont added another in the second half to push her team-leading total to 11, which is second in the NSIC and ninth nationally.
Goalkeeper Marissa Rosa made 11 saves in the two games. Six of those came in the shutout over Mary, the third of her sophomore campaign.
“Our goal coming into the weekend was to maintain our strong play from the start of the season,” Potter said. “Everyone has put in a lot of work out at practice, in the weight room and in the classroom. We have been able to bring our hard work from practice into games. Our coaches, (Greg) Cane and (Kelly) Wheeler, have done a great done job at guiding us and making adjustments.”
The Bulldogs are unbeaten this year in games in which they have scored at least two goals, and since being shut out by Southwest Minnesota State, they are on a four-game winning streak and have outscored their opponents 14-3. Their 9-2 record this season is the team’s best start in 13 years.
UMD heads to Concordia-St. Paul Friday, then to third-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato on Sunday to conclude the four-game road stand. Sunday’s game will likely influence the top of the NSIC standings, seeds for the conference tournament and the NCAA II Central region.
“Of course it’s one game at a time, so we can’t overlook Concordia,” Stormont said. “However, that Mankato game should be a good battle. We match up with them very well and I think it will be a low-scoring affair. With that said, the team is excited for the next challenge. Our mentality is to find success and keep on winning, so hopefully we’ll steal two victories on the road again and get six points.”
The Bulldogs currently hold the third spot in the NSIC with the tiebreaker going to Southwest Minnesota State in head-to-head competition. UMD could create a three-way tie at the top of the NSIC with a sweep this weekend.
BY EVAN SMEGAL firstname.lastname@example.org