GRAND FORKS, N.D. – After 17-consecutive games without a win, the University of North Dakota women’s soccer team picked up a huge win over in-state rival North Dakota State, 4-2, Wednesday at Bronson Field.
The last win for UND came on Sept. 7, 2012 against South Dakota State, 3-1. North Dakota had also been shutout in five of the first-six games to start this season.
However, all that came to an end as UND received scoring from four separate players to power past the Bison. Additionally, three players scored their first collegiate goals.
Caitlin Dahl scored in the 11th minute to give North Dakota the early lead. Fellow freshman Zoe Foster dished a pass to Dahl from the right flank toward the top of the 18-yard box. Dahl took a high shot that curled in off the crossbar and off the goalkeeper’s fingers.
Dahl’s goal would stand as the lone mark of the first half, as the second half would feature a flurry of scoring.
Within five minutes after the start of the second half, North Dakota extended its lead when freshman Robyn Wujkowski got her head on a loose ball inside the 6-yard box. NDSU’s goalkeeper Katie McCormick tried corralling the ball after it was played in, but a scramble that ensued between her and her defensemen allowed Wujkowski to get enough on the ball to put in in the back of the net for her first collegiate goal.
Unfortunately, UND was unable to keep a clean sheet as NDSU’s Katie Tallas scored off a header in the 62nd minute to cut the lead in half.
Just eight minutes later, however, Foster stole the ball in the attacking third and had room to carry it into the right side of the box. After a few touches, the freshman put the ball in the upper far corner for her second goal of the season, giving UND back its two-goal lead.
Three minutes later, Wujkowski and sophomore Marissa Ricci created a two-on-one break after the Bison turned the ball over while pressing through midfield. Wujkowski passed the ball just outside of the box and Ricci finished the pay, chipping the ball over the goalkeeper for her first collegiate goal.
With time running out and North Dakota up 4-1, the Bison continued to attack, eventually finding a second goal with only 19 seconds remaining in the game. Meghan Johnston put back in a rebound after an initial shot was deflected within the 6-yard box, making the final score 4-2.
Kirsten Olsen also had a penalty-kick opportunity after NDSU was called for a handball inside the box. Olsen got the shot on net, but NDSU’s McCormick made the save.
UND goalkeeper Kristi Hestdalen recorded five saves in the contest. North Dakota out-shot the Bison 21-19, with a shots-on-goal margin of 10-8 in UND’s favor.
North Dakota returns to the pitch on Sunday, hosting Boise State at 1 p.m.