By: John Miller
The MSUM women’s soccer team came up short in a hard-fought battle against Augustana on Sunday, losing 1-0.
The Dragons fell to 1-5-1 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and 1-6-2 overall. Augustana improved to 6-0-1 in the NSIC and 7-1-2 overall.
Mackenzie Main scored what ended up being the game-winning goal in the 10th minute on an assist from Samantha Tymkowicz.
Senior goalkeeper Reagan VonBerge recorded 13 saves for the Dragons, allowing only Main’s goal.
Freshman Tomomi Nishihara led MSUM’s offensive attack with two shots, including one on goal. Freshman Avery Wood also had a shot on goal.
Head coach Christie Kopietz was proud of her team for how hard they played and for sticking to her plan.
“I was really pleased with the effort today. Everyone trusted each other and that’s critical,” Kopietz said. “I thought they followed the game-plan I set up for them really well. It’s my job as a coach to set them up to succeed and it was great to see them follow it.”
The intention was for her team to play with a low-pressure style. Kopietz wanted to make sure the Dragons didn’t give Augustana much to work with and to capitalize on the Vikings’ mistakes when they got frustrated and turned the ball over.
Kopietz said the Dragons must improve its play when they have a scoring opportunity in front of them, as Augustana outshot MSUM 28-7.
“I think we get some opportunities, but we just have to be able to find that composure,” Kopietz said. “So we’re going to do some things in practice to get them comfortable in those moments where they have to score.”
Despite that it was a wet, gloomy day and the Dragons lost, spirits were lifted by the presence of loved ones, as Sunday was “Family Day” for Dragons soccer.
Many parents came out to show their support and embark in postgame festivities, including those of sophomore defender Lindsey Brownell.
“My parents, boyfriend and boyfriend’s mom are here today,” Brownell said. “It’s very important to be able to play in front of them. They’ve supported me through everything and are the reason I play soccer.”
After the game, the team and families had a tailgating party, with an expected turnout of over 100 people.
Following the conclusion of family tailgating, the Dragons will have an early-week break, but will get back to business on Wednesday in preparation for its next opponent.
Next, MSUM hosts Minnesota Crookston for the battle of the Highway 75 Rivalry Rock on Friday. It will be an opportunity for the team to recover from its four-game losing streak, as Minnesota Crookston has a 0-9 record.
“We have Tuesday off to rest, but have to make sure we come hard on Wednesday so we’re ready to take the Rock home Friday against Crookston,” Brownell said.