Soccer wins in Big Sky opener

The UND’s soccer team got back on track and came out victorious over last season’s regular season champ, the University of Montana by a score of 2-1.

In the 17th minute, Montana’s Mackenzie Atkins was able to blast the ball by Olivia Swenson to take the early lead.

UND would respond though in the 29th minute when the Green and White’s Emma Contino lined up for a free kick and kicked it into the box. Bella Mantaro was able to finish the job by maneuvering past two different defenders and kicking the ball home.

Both teams went into the second half tied at 1-1. It was the seventh time this season UND was tied at halftime.

Coach Matt Kellogg decided to change up his strategy by keeping the team’s legs fresh through mass substitution.

“That is what you get when you have a roster of 30, almost like hockey,” Kellogg said. “This is the third hockey-school I’ve worked at, so I figured I would learn something from them about shifts.”

It wasn’t until the 87th minute that UND found the back of the net with the help from freshmen Kaylee Kebba and Sabrina Majerczyk. Majerczyk had her initial shot blocked but then proceeded to pass the ball to Kebba for the score. She joined four other freshmen to notch their first collegiate goal.

“It’s a testament to depth of team to go hard for 90 minutes against a fantastic Montana team,” Kellogg said. “They were the regular-season champs last season.”

The win was UND’s first conference win since 2013 and its second win over Montana when the Green and White defeated the Griz in 2011.

“Montana was picked to be a top team,” Kellogg said. “I think it reaffirms everything we do in practice. We had our toes on line but hadn’t yet taken the first step and I think Montana was first step to get this going forward.”

UND looks to expand its conference win total this weekend with two matches against Weber State and Idaho State.

Jack Harvey is a sports reporter for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]