With three regular season matches remaining, the University of South Dakota soccer team has already met their record for wins in a Division I season.
However, the Coyotes still have a lot of work to do if they want to be one of the four teams to qualify for the Summit League tournament.
With two straight losses, the Coyotes conference record dropped to 1-2-2, putting them at 8th place in the Summit League standings.
If USD can win their remaining two matches, they will at least be in a tiebreaker for a coveted spot in the top four spot.
When senior fullback Lauren Bennett stormed down the right flank against Omaha, one thing crossed my mind: She’s a right-footed Leighton Baines, the left back for the English club Everton and the English national team.
Their style of play is similar. Baines marauds down the left flank getting involved in the attack with short passing and beautiful crosses.
Bennett does the same thing, which has led to her four assists on the year, an impressive amount for a defender. Bennett does this with incisive passing, intelligent runs forward and wonderful crosses.
The comparisons to English Premier League players don’t end there for the Coyotes. Rebecca Sparkman is similar to Yaya Toure, a midfielder for club Manchester City and the Ivory Coast national team.
Sparkman plays a similar position as Toure, a deep-lying central midfielder who can start and finish an attack. This is evidenced in her stats on the year. Sparkman has scored four goals while adding four assists this year for the Coyotes.
Sparkman always seems composed on the pitch, much like Toure. The two always seems to find a correct pass to make.
Sparkman and Bennett are in charge of many of the creative duties for the Coyotes, but junior Taylor Nivala has been the leading goalscorer for the Coyotes this year, putting eight in the back of the net.
Those two especially stand out to me. USD will need clean play as the season winds down.
Also, Corey Strange has added four goals and five assists on the year. Daniel Anderson and Colleen have each scored four goals for USD this year.
Left on the Coyotes schedule are two teams above them in the Summit League: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Western Illinois.
There’s not much time for these women, and they’ll need to look to some of their stars if they want to survive the postseason.