BROOKINGS, S.D. – For this first time in the young season, North Dakota found itself trailing in a match. Unfortunately for the visiting Fighting Hawks, inclement weather meant UND would have to take an incomplete on its first such test.
Lightning suspended Friday night’s match after 70 minutes, preserving Marisa Schultz’s goal at the 44-minute mark as the difference in South Dakota State’s 1-0 victory over UND.
The loss was UND’s first of the season, dropping the upstart Fighting Hawks to 2-1 on the year. The Jackrabbits, meanwhile, picked up their first win after a pair of losses.
Schultz converted a Nicole Hatcher cross in the box at 43:47, snapping a UND shutout streak of 223 minutes, 47 seconds to start the season. On top of that, the Fighting Hawks had also blanked both of their exhibition opponents.
“We defended very well,” said UND head coach Chris Logan. “They had a lot of shots from distance but really only created the one opportunity. Our girls are doing a decent job defensively of holding teams down. We have to be better retaining possession and getting after the attack.”
To Logan’s point, UND managed just three shot attempts, only one of which was on goal. That wasn’t enough against a SDSU program that had won the last three Summit League tournament titles.
“I can’t fault the effort. The girls dug deep and gave them a game,” said Logan. “We played against a very good, very seasoned NCAA Tournament team and really the difference came down to two moments: one was a scoring chance for us where they made an incredible block and one was a chance for them on a mistake by us that they put in the net. That’s the difference between a NCAA Tournament team and a program trying to vie for its place.”
Logan continued: “We have to learn against good teams to take advantage of the opportunities give to you.”
UND junior forward Katie Moller (2 shots), who scored twice last Sunday against Western Illinois, was the only Fighting Hawk with multiple shots and registered the team’s lone shot on goal.
Sophomore goalkeeper Catherine Klein made four saves in the loss for UND.
Now Logan and his squad will turn their attention to Sunday’s match at SEC power Auburn and a Tigers team that advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals a year ago.
“Moving into Sunday, the message is to not only continue with high levels of concentration defensively, but can we be more confident on the ball when we regain possession?” sais Logan. “The biggest thing we want to see is a confident performance against a team that went to the Elite Eight last year.”
Sunday’s match begins at 6 p.m.
Notes: Today’s match was delayed for the minimum 30 minutes after a lightning strike in the 72nd minute. Per NCAA rules, because 70 minutes of game action had progressed, the game was then deemed official, with the result and statistics counting.