UND Soccer: Three Thoughts After Close 1-0 Defeat to Portland

Yesterday, UND Soccer played a home game against the best opponent to come to the Fighting Hawks’ home field since UND joined Division One. They generated plenty of chances. Olivia Swenson had a superb game in net, as did the Fighting Hawks defense. The midfield created plenty of chances for the superb forward group UND has, they ultimately came up just short in a valiant 1-0 loss to Portland yesterday. What does this mean for them going forward? Check out my three thoughts below to get a better idea of what this game means for UND as they now enter Summit League play with a 6-2-1 record.

Fantastic Forwards 

This forward group can generate opportunities out of thin air. Yesterday, superb senior striker Katie Moller turned a one-one-five scenario into a good chance from just outside the box. UND did not convert that chance, however they generated plenty more looks as the Fighting Hawks had 13 total shots. Six of those salvos found their way to Portland netminder Rachel Lusby who had to make multiple grade-a saves in the second to keep the Pilots ahead. This forward group can compete with anyone, and if they can convert on a few more chances at home, look for good things from this team in Summit League play.

Sensational Swenson

Complimented by a superb and talented midfield and defense corps, Olivia Swenson is having a superb year. Unlike a few years ago where she was asked to make countless saves to keep UND in the game, she is now being asked to make a few key saves and has not seen as much work this past season as she has during her last starting campaign. That being said, Swenson has been sensational for UND this season. She came into the Friday matchup as a goals against average and save percentage leader for UND. Swenson and the defense of this team will keep them in every game this season.

Now What?

UND returns to the road next weekend to take on Oral Roberts to open up Summit League play. The test for UND, will be seeing how they can convert their chances. Head Coach Chris Logan, and Katie Moller stressed that.  This diverse out of conference slate for UND should help them prepare for the rigors of the Summit League. Portland’s style will help UND prepare for the challenges of the Summit League, especially against teams like Denver. This team has all of the capabilities to shock people in the Summit. It is now time to see how high up the Summit League UND can ascend.

 

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