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Courtesy: Eric Classen, UNDsports.com
Sheri Stapf was tied for the team lead with three shots.
Hornets edge UND in conference opener
Courtesy: Derek Koenen, UND Athletic Media Relations
Release: 09/21/2012
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The University of North Dakota soccer team dropped a 1-0 match to Sacramento State in both team's Big Sky Conference opener at Bronson Field Friday.

North Dakota falls to 2-5-1 (0-1 BSC) while Sacramento State improves to 3-4-2 (1-0 BSC).

Under extremely windy conditions that saw gusts up to 40 miles per hour, North Dakota had the wind to its back in the first half and took advantage everywhere except on the scoreboard.  

UND attempted 10 shots in the first 45 minutes to the Hornets four and had a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks, but it was the Hornets' Jordan Carlberg that found the back of the net in the 14th minute which would prove to be game's lone goal. Megan Burg assisted on the score.

The second half proved to be much of the opposite with the wind to the back of the visiting team. It took a strong defensive effort for UND and goalkeeper Kristi Hestdalen (Pierre, S.D.), who finished the game with nine saves, to keep it a one-goal game.

Sacramento State controlled much of the possession in the last 45 minutes, but UND attempted to rally late with a couple near scoring chances in the final minutes of play.

The Hornets concluded the game with a 20-12 advantage in shots (10-7 shots on goal) while UND maintained a 10-6 edge in corner kicks.

Seniors Rhaya Ballon (Rogers, Minn.) and Sheri Stapf (Lakeville, Minn.) had strong performances in the losing effort as each had a team-leading three shots.

Sacramento State's Shelby Tomasello finished the game with six saves and picked up her third shutout of the year.

North Dakota will look for its first Big Sky victory on Sunday against 2011 co-BSC regular-season champion Portland State. Game time is set for 11 a.m.

Leah Szabla scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds, and had two assists in the win for UND
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