GAMES: The University of North Dakota soccer team takes on Western Illinois this weekend in its last nonconference matchup of the season. UND will be on its home confines of Bronson Field against the Leathernecks, with a start time of 11 a.m. on Sunday.
FIGHTING LEATHERNECKS: Western Illinois is led by head coach Ted Flogaites, who has started the 2012 season as his first year with the Leathernecks. They enter this weekend on a six game winning streak, with a record of 6-1-0, and all of their wins taking place on the road. The Leathernecks are on the road all weekend, taking on Missouri State Friday before heading to Grand Forks for Sunday's game. Western Illinois has scored twenty four goals on the season, while only giving up three goals to opponents. Kate Condon and Sarah Hall lead the team in points and goals, tallying seven points and three goals each. Goalies Laura Atkinson and Victoria Kappel have split time in the net this season, averaging a goals against average of 0.43.
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.
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: North Dakota has collected 11 goals on the season coming from eight different goal scorers.
FEAST OR FAMINE: North Dakota has failed to score in all of its defeats this season while averaging 3.66 goals a game in its two wins and one tie.
SUNDAY SUPPORT: A new UND attendance record was set on Sunday, Sept. 9, as 511 fans gathered at Bronson Field to watch the North Dakota soccer team take on its in-state rival North Dakota State for the first time in Grand Forks since 2003.
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 had a up-and-down weekend against a pair of rivals as it defeated South Dakota State 3-1 before dropping a 3-0 decision to North Dakota State.
FUTURE SCHEDULE: North Dakota concludes its five-game home stand opening Big Sky Conference play at Bronson Field hosting Sacramento State at 4 p.m. on Friday and Portland State at 11 a.m. on Sunday.