(Photo Credit: Russ Hons-FightingHawks.com)
Today, at East Grand Forks Senior High, UND Soccer conceded their first goal and lost their first game of the season to a Bemidji State team who came in ranked number 22 in all of Division Two Women’s Soccer.
The lone goal was conceded on a fortuitous deflection inside of a crowded box that found its way to Rachel Norton. She was able to fire the only tally of the day past UND netminder Olivia Swenson to provide the final margin.
Despite the final result, UND learned some more things about itself today and can take some positives from this one going forward.
- The Fighting Hawks had a better second half today. They doubled their first half shots total to accumulate eight shots in the second. Three of those shots were on goal. Head Coach Chris Logan thought his team had the better of play in the second half despite a strong wind benefiting Bemidji State in the second half.
- This Beavers team is good. They came in ranked 22 in Division Two soccer. They will compete for both their conference championship and the Division Two title. That being said, I think UND learned a bit more about types of teams they will face, and got good things to review from today. This Beavers team reminds me a bit of some Summit League teams like South Dakota. They have a strong back front that relies on consistent, smart, and physical play to set up counter attacks from fast and efficient strikers. UND head Coach Chris Logan noted before the game that this team would be at least a mid-tier Summit League team, if not higher.
- UND has a tough challenge in its final non-conference road trip of the season coming up this week. They take on Grambiling State, who went 7-2-1 in the Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC) last season. This Grambling State team returns their top offensive players, and is poised to compete for a SWAC championship. After that, they take on Alcorn State, another SWAC team building off a trip to the SWAC tournament last season, to round out the weekend. This trip will once again test UND’s ability to play through adversity and give UND more practice with taking long trips and playing against different systems.
If UND can compete at the level it did in the second half, a good non-conference trip could await the Fighting Hawks. Chris Logan wants his team to “play angry” and learn from this loss moving forward. This Fighting Hawks team already strung together one perfect southern road trip, now its time to see how well they can do in their second southern swing.