Akron controlled the majority of the play in the first half, but only took a 1-0 lead at halftime, while outshooting UND 13-0. However, the Zips took a 4-0 lead after Megan Waskowski scored back-to-back goals in the 82nd minute giving her a hat trick, as she also scored the opening goal in the 43rd minute.
“The game came down to three or four breakdowns by UND,” head coach Matt Kellogg said. “It was a couple of small things, that if we play disciplined, we don’t give up those chances. We’re just a young team and it’s better to be making those mistakes early on.”
While most teams could have given up after a 4-0 deficit with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, North Dakota kept pressing, determined to find its first goal of the season. And just five minutes later, UND found the back of the net off the head of freshman Zoe Foster.
The play started after Andrea Hyduke was fouled while making a run past the Zips’ backline, giving North Dakota a free kick from the right side of the box. Noel Scherer took the kick and placed it out of reach from Akron goalkeeper Alex Luevano-Harden. Foster out-muscled her way to the ball and flicked a perfect header past the keeper to record her first collegiate goal and UND’s first of the season.
“We got that goal late because we were working for it,” Kellogg added. “It wasn’t like Akron packed it in, they were still looking for a fifth goal.”
We’ve shown to ourselves that when we play disciplined we can create chances. The players are finding out that they have to stay engaged for 90 minutes. It’s not just sprinting or good passing, you have to stay disciplined while working hard for 90 minutes and I think they’re starting to see that.”
UND goalkeeper Kristi Hestdalen made a six saves in net for a total of 12 on the weekend.
Scherer was named to the All-Tournament Team after playing a terrific game for North Dakota on the backline, an unfamiliar position for the senior captain.
“Because of some injuries, we played Noel in a new position at center back this weekend and today she played fantastic,” Matt Kellogg said. “She made some adjustments after Friday’s game and she wasn’t going to get beat today. She played a great game for us and that’s why she made the All-Tournament Team.”
North Dakota will travel to Omaha, Neb., to take on Creighton Sunday at 5 p.m. and Nebraska Omaha on Sunday at noon. UND’s home opener is scheduled for Sept. 11 against North Dakota State.