After a loss to Oral Roberts dashed the Coyotes chance of making the Summit League Tournament, the team ended their season strong with wins over the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Fort Wayne this past weekend.
The Coyotes faced off against UNO last Friday in the First Bank & Trust Soccer Complex. The first half saw no scoring, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The Mavericks ripped off eight shots in the first 45 to force junior goalkeeper Sydney Hardin to make five saves. The Coyotes took four shots in the first half and UNO made one save.
USD would break through in the second half with a goal in the 57th minute from sophomore Sammie Villwock. This would be the only score of the game as the Mavericks were unable to equalize. The potential tying shot was saved by Hardin in the 89th minute and the Coyotes would hang on for a 1-0 win.
The team was back in action on Sunday against Fort Wayne. The Coyotes got going early when senior forward Corey Strang headed in a cross from junior midfielder Courtney Baker to put USD up 1-0. That would be the only score of the half despite a heavy Coyote attack that took 11 shots and forced Fort Wayne to make seven saves. The Mastodons failed to put a shot on frame in the first half.
The Coyotes kept up their attack for the second 45 as they rattled off nine shots in the second half, scoring in the 70th minute on a penalty kick from Strang. Strang’s goal off of a penalty marked the fifth of her career, which tied her for the school record. Fort Wayne would get one back in the 76th off of a free kick. One was all the Mastodons would get back, however, as the Coyotes went on to win their final game of the season 2-1. The Coyotes took 20 shots total in the game, putting 11 on frame.
For her efforts in the final week of the season, Strang was named Summit League Player of the Week, the second of her career as a Coyote.
The game marked the end of the season for USD, as the Coyotes finished with a 5-13-1 overall record. They went 4-4-0 in Summit League play. The Coyotes had strong showings in the inaugural season of the First Bank & Trust Soccer Complex, as they were 5-3-0 at home. One notable season struggle for USD was play on the road, the Coyotes failed to win a single game away from home going 0-10-1 in away games.
As USD looks to next season, one early strength for the Coyotes is that they’ll return nearly every player. Only Strang and midfielder Brooke Watson were seniors.