Madison Overby, Sports Editor

The University of North Dakota Women’s Soccer team has had a strong opening to their 2018 fall season. They went undefeated through the first five games of the season and just suffered their first loss against Bemidji State on Sunday, who narrowly came out on top by one goal.  


Senior goalie from Chaska, Minnesota, Olivia Swenson, is a name that you’ll hear a lot when discussing the early success of this year’s team. She has produced five shutouts out of their six games thus far.


The stats show Swenson can do more than hold her own in the net, but she is quick to pass the credit to her defenders and the other seniors.


“Our success has definitely come from our defending,” Swenson said. “We have the best back line that I’ve ever seen and we defend like champions. If we get it done defensively, then usually offensively it falls into place. It helps that we have a lot of senior leadership this year; they’ve made an impact so far.”


Most of the team stayed on campus over the summer to continue practicing together.


“Individually and as a team we’ve been preparing all spring and summer for this season,” Swenson said. “I love being here in the summer because it helps improve our team chemistry. We do a lot of fun things together. We also practice all spring in order to prepare for the fall season and it’s all coming together.”


The season continues rolling with the team heading to Louisiana on Tuesday to face Grambling State.


After the next three games, UND will spend the last eight games of regular season play against other Summit League teams. The team is looking forward to getting a true test of how they stack up against their competitors within the conference.  


The soccer team finished last year with a Big Sky Conference berth just out of reach. This year, the goal of the team is to make it to the Summit League Conference tournament which will be hosted by South Dakota State in Brookings, South Dakota.


The biggest obstacle the team has faced so far is just the fatigue that comes along with the rigor of the season.


Last week, UND played three games within a week. By the third game against the University of Minnesota Duluth the team was just tired.


However, in a post-game interview last Tuesday, head coach Chris Logan does not think that will continue to be a problem.


“Sometimes we just decide mentally that we’re tired,” Logan said. “Today, you could tell.”


Staying in the game mentally will be important for the team as the schedule doesn’t slow down going into the final games as well as the start of the conference tournament.


One advantage that the Summit League brings is that there’s less travel, which will be easier on the team. Swenson commented that with less time on the road it makes it just a little bit easier playing away games.


Swenson has confidence in her team that they will continue to improve throughout the season and hopefully postseason as well.


“I think the biggest thing our team wants to do better is to be more consistent and to continue playing well,” Swenson said. “So far, we’ve had great success and if we can continue that, it’ll be hard to beat us this year.”


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