The UND women’s soccer team faced off against the University of Northern Colorado this past Friday in the coldest game of the year so far, falling to UNC, 2-1.
It was 41 degrees when the game clock started. The strong cross-wind never seemed to tame and the Green and White couldn’t see their work reflect on the scoreboard.
Even though UND took the loss, sophomore Abbey Welle was happy with her team’s performance.
“UNC is a good team, and it shows our improvement this season that we stayed with them the entire game,” Welle said.
After having only a total of three shots in last week’s game against Portland State, UND took to the pitch looking to create more scoring opportunities by taking as many shots as it could.
The team looked to carry out its mission — taking five shots in the first half, but none found the back of the net for the Green and White.
Northern Colorado, on the other hand, was able to use the wind to its advantage and capitalize on a UND defensive error in the third minute of the game to take an early 1-0 lead.
UNC’s Juliana Grover scored the unassisted goal from the top of the box off of the left post. In turn, UNC took the momentum at the start of the game.
Welle recognizes the small errors are often what hurt UND’s chances in games.
“We need to work on things like tracking our runners on defense, constant communication and winning 50/50 balls,” Welle said. “Once we do that, I think we will be very successful.”
With the wind at its back for the second half, North Dakota looked like a revitalized team. UND pressured in the offensive third of the field from the get go of the second half.
Two minutes in, freshman Zoe Foster found the back of the net to tie the game, 1-1. The 25-yard shot hit the upper right corner of the net for her third goal of the season.
UND took seven more shots in the second half, a total of 12 in the contest and the third most in a single game this season. The teams were neck and neck almost the entire game, but Northern Colorado scored the match-winning goal after the Bears were awarded a corner kick in the 53rd minute.
North Dakota is not going to dwell on the loss against UNC, but instead focus on its next obstacle Friday against Montana, according to Welle.
“Before our game against Montana, we need to work on creating chances on offense,” she said. “We need to take lots of shots in order to be more aggressive on attack to give us as many chances as possible to score.
“You can tell by how hard we work, how much we want to win,” she added.
UND is preparing to face the Montana Grizzlies Friday at 3 p.m. in Bronson Field in Grand Forks.
Alison Moore is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]