The South Dakota women’s soccer team has been working hard to progress this season. With many fresh new faces, and some unfortunate injuries, this year has been anything but easy for the team.
“We have had to put a lot of new people in that haven’t played a lot this season, we just need to get more comfortable,” said head coach Mandy Green.
After tough battles, near wins and even one game that ended in a tie, the Coyotes entered Summit League play with a record of 1-9-1. In their first game of Summit League play they took on the Jaguars of Indiana University — Purdue University. They fell 0-2. Moving their record to 1-10-1.
“We played our hearts out during that game,” Green said.
The women’s soccer team was back in action two days later. The team traveled to Macomb, Illinois to compete against Western Illinois. Even though the Coyotes led in shots (13-10) they were unable to setback the Leathernecks. They were defeated 0-2 dropping them further to 1-11-1.
“Both conference games are games that I feel like we could’ve won,” Green said. “We just need to score goals right now.”
It was a frustrating game for the team as USD dominated the whole game in possessions. The team fought until the end. Senior Brooke Watson described said the team was emotional.
“They scored, and I could just feel on the field that we were upset,” Watson said. “We thought we had that game.”
The goal moving forward for the Coyotes is to start making goals. Whether that be literal goals on the field or personal goals they might have set for themselves. The coaches want the players to reach the potential they know they have inside of them.
“As a forward I need to be able to take defenders on at the drop of a hat and be able to beat them every time,” Watson said. “Having the confidence to do that every time is something I need to work on.”
The team is working hard every day to improve on their skills. The women are looking to improve their passing percentage every game, as well as the amount of quality shots they are getting a game. USD would really like to see their quality of defending upgrade.
One thing the team is not lacking is camaraderie. The energy and chemistry the team has this year has been excellent, the players said. Even with the adversity they’ve faced this season, they are still able to keep a positive attitude.
“I think that the chemistry is starting to travel over to the game, but it has kind of been taking a while,” Watson said.
That chemistry and hard-work, however, finally paid off for the Coyotes when they took on North Dakota State over Dakota Days.
The Coyotes won impressively with a score of 4-0 to pick up their second win of the season. It was a solid win for the team, but an even bigger boost of confidence. North Dakota State Univeristy is the current defending Summit League Champions.
The team was again in action this past weekend, when they took a trip to Denver to take on the Pioneers. The Coyotes were unable to build on the momentum of their NDSU win, as they fell 0-1 to Denver. USD now prepare to welcome rivals South Dakota State Univeristy to the First Bank & Trust Soccer Complex for a match this Friday at 3 p.m.