GAMES: The UND soccer team hosts two rival games this weekend on its homefront Bronson Field. The first, against South Dakota State, kicks off Friday at 4 p.m. UND will wrap up its weekend at home facing North Dakota State with a start time of 1 p.m. on Sunday.
JACKRABBITS: South Dakota State is led by head coach Lang Wedemeyer who enters his 13th season. The Jackrabbits enter the weekend with a 1-3-1 overall record. SDSU's lone win came in its season opener at Green Bay. SDSU has scored three goals on the season, all coming in the second half of games. Darci Miller leads the team in points (four) and goals (two). Goalkeeper Elisa Stamatakis has started all five games in net with a 1-3-1 record and a 2.34 goals against average.
BISON: Led by four year head coach Mark Cook, North Dakota State has started off the 2012 season with five road games and a record of 1-4-0. Its lone win was in a non-conference game against Eastern Washington by a score of 3-2. Anisha Kinnarath leads the Bison with four points and two goals, while Jaclyn Scanlan follows close behind with three points and one goal. Goalkeeper Sierra Bonham has started four of the five games, including their win against EWU, and has recorded a 2.20 goal average.
A NEW HOME: The 2012 season marks the first year in North Dakota's new home of the Big Sky Conference and its first NCAA postseason-eligible campaign.
A CHANCE AT THE BIG DANCE: Only the top four teams in the Big Sky standings advance to the conference tournament to battle for the leagues automic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
REGIONAL RIVALS: UND will host both South Dakota State and North Dakota State in a nonconference match in Grand Forks for the first time since 2000 and 2003, respectively. UND will also take on former Great West Conference rival South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D.
HOME COOKING: North Dakota will have a long home stretch including five straight and 5-of-6 games at Bronson Field during September.
A PROGRAM (AND UNIVERSITY) FIRST: Sophomore forward Megan Anderson was named the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week (Aug. 26) becoming the first player in program history and at North Dakota to win a BSC weekly award.
The Rapid City, S.D., native, scored one goal and had three assists to finish the weekend with five points helping UND to a 4-0 win over Minnesota, Crookston and a a 4-4 (2 OT) tie against South Dakota.
ALL-BIG SKY: Rhaya Ballon was named to the Madness 2012 Big Sky Preseason All-Conference Second Team as selected by its staff in expectation of these players making significant contributions to their team in the upcoming season.
A Rogers, Minn., native, Ballon led UND with nine goals in 2011 and finished second in points with 19 while starting all 18 games. She scored at least one point in 10 of 18 games.
In her three seasons at North Dakota, Ballon has totaled 16 goals and six assists for 38 points.
TEAM CONTRIBUTIONS: Through four games in the 2012 campaign, the UND soccer team has recorded eight goals with seven different goal scorers. Senior Rhaya Ballon is the lone player with multiple goals (two).
BLANKED: Sophomore Kristi Hestdalen collected her first shutout of 2012 and fifth of her young career against Minnesota, Crookston in a 4-0 win at Bronson Field.
PREVIOUS ACTION: North Dakota has been idle since a 4-0 win (Aug. 24) and 4-4 double-overtime tie (Aug. 26) against Minnesota, Crookston and South Dakota, respectively.
FUTURE SCHEDULE: North Dakota returns to Bronson field on for its last nonconference game of the season against Western Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m.