THIS WEEK: North Dakota hits the road again, traveling south to Omaha, Neb., for a pair of nonconference matches. UND plays a Big East opponent in Creighton on Friday at 5 p.m., before finishing the weekend against Nebraska Omaha, of the Summit League, on Sunday at noon.
LIVE COVERAGE: Free live stats will be available for both of UND’s games this weekend. Friday’s match against Creighton features both live stats and a web stream available at GoCreighton.com. Live stats for Sunday’s contest against Omaha are available at OMavs.com
Free live audio is available for all UND home action and, new in 2013, live video webcasts of select home matches will be available with a UND Insider subscription at UNDsports.com.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive daily coverage by following @UNDsoccer, the official Twitter account of the University of North Dakota soccer program. For additional coverage, follow assistant media relations director/soccer contact Ross LaDue at @rladue.
For more UND Athletics information, follow @UNDsports.
ABOUT CREIGHTON: The Bluejays dropped matches against Utah State, 0-3, and Boise State, 1-2, this past weekend. In exhibition play, Creighton went .500, defeating NDSU, 2-1, and losing to Arkansas, 3-2. Against Utah State, Creighton gave up two goals in the first 14 minutes of the game. Against Boise State, the Bluejays had the game tied at 1-1, but gave up the deciding goal in the 87th minute to the Broncos.
Freshman forward Paige Jarsombeck scored the only goal for Creighton over the weekend. In two games, goalkeeper Danielle Rice has given up five goals and made nine saves.
vs CREIGHTON: Friday’s match is Creighton’s home opener and will be the third contest between the two sides. However, neither side features any players who have played against each other. North Dakota has yet to win a game against Creighton, having lost 6-0 on Oct. 21, 2008 and 2-0 on Sept. 13, 2009.
ABOUT NEBRASKA OMAHA: The Mavericks opened their 2013 season with two losses last weekend, dropping matches to New Mexico State, 3-1, and UTEP, 2-0. In those two games, Omaha gave up a total of three goals within the first 16 minutes. Omaha has yet to lead at any point in either of its two nonconference or two exhibition games this season.
Omaha will enter Sunday’s match having opened its home schedule against Northern Colorado on Friday afternoon.
Sophomore forward Katlyn Nimtz was the lone goal scorer for the Mavericks last weekend.
Goalkeeper Meaghan Clark played in both games making a total of 10 saves while conceding five goals.
vs Nebraska Omaha: Omaha and North Dakota are familiar opponents, both being former Div. II members of the North Central Conference. UND has an overall record of 4-12-0 against the Mavericks, with the last meeting taking place on Sept. 16, 2011 in Grand Forks. The last win against Omaha came on Oct. 28, 2005 by a score of 1-0. Since then, Omaha has won the last five meetings.
NEW BEGINNINGS: This season marks the dawn of a new era for UND soccer under first-year coach Matt Kellogg (Butler ‘00), who inherits a team that went 2-13-1 overall and 0-9 in the Big Sky last season.
Kellogg spent the previous three seasons as head women’s soccer coach at NCAA Division II Ferris State University. Prior to that, he served as assistant women’s soccer coach and recruiting coordinator at a pair of NCAA Division I schools, Morehead (Ky.) State University and the University of Kentucky.
Kellogg took over a Ferris State team that went 3-13-3 in the year prior to his arrival and led the Bulldogs to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament in each of his three seasons at the helm. In 2012, FSU went 9-7-3 and advanced to the GLIAC semifinals for only the second time in program history.
In 2009, Kellogg’s lone season at Morehead State, the Eagles captured the program’s first-ever Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) regular season championship with a 5-0-3 conference record (8-7-4 overall).
At Kentucky, Kellogg served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator during the 2007 and 2008 campaigns. Prior to his stint at UK, Kellogg spent three seasons (2004-07) as an assistant coach at Western Michigan University.
Kellogg’s staff at UND includes assistant coaches Stephanie Webb (Stetson ‘09) and Melissa Raguse (Kennesaw State ‘13).
LOOKING FOR A WIN: All three teams enter this weekend with a 0-2 record. Either Creighton or North Dakota will record its first win of the season on Friday, while Nebraska Omaha has a chance to get rid of its goose egg on Friday against Northern Colorado.
AYE, AYE, CAPTAIN: First-year head coach Matt Kellogg announced that fourth-year players Courtney Beckwith (Jr., Henderson, Nev.), Amanda Dahl (Sr., Redmond, Wash.), Anna Jung (Sr., Sandy, Utah) and Noel Scherer (Sr., Fargo, N.D.) will serve as team captains for the 2013 season.
Beckwith, a midfielder from Henderson, Nev., had appeared in 22 career games through her first two seasons at UND. This year she’ll be joined on the roster by her younger sister, freshman midfielder Ashlee Beckwith.
Dahl, a senior forward from Redmond, Wash., scored one goal in 16 games last season and was a second-team All-Great West Conference performer in 2011.
Jung, a senior midfielder from Sandy, Utah, leads all active UND players with 53 career games played. She played in all 16 games a year ago and registered one assist.
Scherer, a midfielder from Fargo, N.D., is UND’s top returning scorer after collecting a career-high two goals and five points in 2012. After playing at center back in the opening weekend against Xavier and Akron, she was named to the Boilermaker Challenge Cup All-Tournament Team.
POLL POSITION: UND was ranked No. 10 in the 2013 Big Sky Conference Coaches Preseason Poll released earlier in August.
Idaho State and Portland State, who shared the 2012 Big Sky title, were picked to repeat as co-champions:
Big Sky Coaches Preseason Poll
Rk Team (1st place votes) Points
1. Idaho State (4) 68
Portland State (1) 68
3. Montana (2) 65
4. Weber State (2) 58
5. Northern Colorado 57
6. Northern Arizona (1) 43
7. Sacramento State 37
8. Eastern Washington 28
9. Southern Utah 16
10. North Dakota 10
BY THE NUMBERS: UND returns 15 letterwinners and six starters from last year’s team.
The returning letterwinner breakdown includes five forwards, five midfielders, four defenders and one goalkeeper.
PLAYING FOR KEEPS: Goalkeeper Kristi Hestdalen (Jr., Pierre, S.D.), one of UND’s six returning starters, is back after a standout sophomore campaign.
Hestdalen ranked second in the Big Sky in saves per game (6.06) and total saves (97) in 2012, the latter ranking fifth in UND single-season history.
Hestdalen also upped her career saves total to 201 through only two seasons, which has her on the brink of breaking UND’s all time record as a junior:
Hestdalen also ranks third all time at UND with five career shutouts, her most recent coming in a 4-0 win over Minnesota Crookston last August:
HELLO, MY NAME IS: UND welcomes to the fold nine newcomers in 2013, including nine incoming freshmen and one sophomore transfer.
The transfer is forward Asia Laudal (Eau Claire, Wis.), who spent her freshman season at Green Bay.
UND’s incoming freshman class includes Ashlee Beckwith (Henderson, Nev.), Kelsey Cartwright (Tempe, Ariz.), Zoe Foster (Canton, Mich.), Hannah Halterman (Rosemount, Minn.), Sydney Karr (The Woodlands, Texas), Michelle Stingle (Duluth, Minn.), Alexa White (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Robyn Wujkowski (Grand Rapids, Mich.).