(Photo Credit:Russ Hons- FightingHawks.com)
Today, UND came into their last home game of the season against South Dakota State looking for three points and a sure conference tournament berth. They got neither but found out more about themselves. This team has shown all year that they can play with every team in its conference. Today was no exception. The Fighting Hawks took SDSU to two overtimes and came 52 seconds away from a tie before their opponents capitalized on a flurry of chances in the box. What does all of this mean for the weekend?
USD Will Be Tough
South Dakota, UND’s final regular season opponent, is looking for a Summit League Tournament berth. Both teams are playing for a win this Sunday. These teams play strong offense and rely on quick counters to make plays when needed. They have already seen each other in exhibition play, but a lot of things have changed since that matchup. This game could determine the final participant in the Summit League Tournament next weekend in Vermillion, SD. Look for this one to potentially take more than 90 minutes to decide.
Chris Logan Should Win More Awards
Head Coach Chris Logan has completely turned this program from one lucky to win a few games to one of the upper-echelon teams in the Summit League. Once again he should deserve serious consideration for Summit League Coach of the year. Logan would be one of the very few if any coaches to win this award in two different conferences in consecutive years. If this team makes the tournament, they can beat anyone they play. Logan and his staff deserve credit for a complete rebuild of the culture of this team in two seasons.
The Next Generation
Katie Moller’s goal scoring is impossible to replace. That said, this season has showcased some talented freshman and sophomores willing to take on this herculean task. Cassie Giddings, and Olivia Knox have impressed in their freshman seasons. Knox played almost a central attacking midfield role today, and possesses a lot of the same ability of Moller to score from darn near anywhere. As her finishing develops, she and Giddings will grow even more over their final three years at UND. Mimi Eiden had another superb year. She has the ability to blow the top off any defense at any time. She is to UND Soccer what Izzy Adeoti is to UND Football. Her speed is a constant threat and keeps the defense guessing. Look for all three strikers to develop and progress in their next few seasons at UND. No one can relpace Moller after this season, but these three will lead the way for UND up top.