Retaining the Rock: Dragons soccer tie Golden Eagles

By: John Miller

The Highway 75 Rock will remain in Moorhead for another year as the Minnesota State Moorhead women’s soccer team ended its game at a 0-0 draw in double overtime against Minnesota Crookston on Friday, Oct. 6.

Due to the Dragons defeating Crookston last season, the Rock stays in Moorhead.

The Dragons are now 1-5-2 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and 1-6-3 overall. The Golden Eagles moved to 0-7-1 in the NSIC and 0-9-1 overall.

Head coach Christie Kopietz said her team wasn’t quite on its game today.

“We just have to be sharper,” Kopietz said. “It was our finishing, our passing, our first touch, it was a lot of stuff that was just off today. It’s tough when everybody has that, instead of just a couple people here and there having those moments.”

Kopietz was unhappy with her team’s play in the game’s first half, which she expressed to them at halftime.

“I was pretty angry, so I let them know, walked away and let my assistants do what they’re there to do,” Kopietz said. “They needed to see my emotion in that moment.”

What Kopietz did at halftime appeared to work, as her team played much harder in the second half. She liked how the players responded, saying they came back and fought.

“We all got together before the second half and said we need to take a deep breath and do the simple things,” senior defensive midfielder Jenai DeNardo said.

The Golden Eagles out-shot the Dragons 6-5 in the first half, however, MSUM had a 7-2 shot advantage on Crookston in the second half and a 4-1 edge in the overtime periods. The Dragons ended with 16 shots compared to the Golden Eagles’ 9. Each team had six shots on goal.

Junior midfielder Jessica Dallman paced MSUM with four shots, including two on goal. DeNardo had two shots on goal and three shots total while senior goalkeeper Corina Eddington recorded six saves for the Dragons.

DeNardo was proud of her team with how well they played defense against Crookston.

“I like that we kept it a shutout,” DeNardo said. “We worked hard defensively and I think that’s important.”

The Dragons had several opportunities to score in the second half, including two shots that nearly went in, but deflected off the goal post.

“It’s challenging to score goals,” Kopietz said. “As hard as it is, you have to keep composure in the box. When they get in there I always tell them to act like they’ve been there before. We spent a lot of time in (the box) and it definitely looked like we hadn’t spent much time in there.”

The Dragons end the weekend with a game at Bemidji State on Sunday.

DeNardo said the team will flip the switch against Bemidji and come out swinging early in the game.

“We’re going to come strong right off the bat,” DeNardo said. “I think we started really slow today, so we’re going to come out ready to play. It’s going to be fun.”

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