USD’s soccer team shot three times in their win against Northern Colorado at home Sunday afternoon.
Two of those shots found the back of the net.
One of those shots made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top Ten plays and moved the Coyotes to 2-1-2 on the season.
— South Dakota Soccer (@SDCoyotesSoccer) September 2, 2018
Coming off a 3-0 win over Chicago State last Sunday, USD looked to keep the offense hot in the first half.
At the 30 minute mark, junior forward Kellee Willer made a run up the far side of the field, then passed to freshman forward Tiannah Moore on the other side of the goal box, moving Northern Colorado’s goalkeeper in Moore’s direction.
Moore caught up to the pass and tapped the ball back across the goal box into the far side of the net, scoring her second goal of the season and putting USD up 1-0.
In the second half, Northern Colorado senior forward Mariel Gutierrez evened the game with a goal assisted by freshman Mackenzie Bray in the 63rd minute.
The goal ended USD’s shutout run at 187 minutes.
With just under six minutes remaining, sophomore defender Abby Ostrem received a pass from sophomore Alexis Mitchell on the near side of the field, roughly five yards from the penalty box.
As a Bear defender moved to her front, Ostrem dribbled right one step, wound up, and released a shot that bent around the goalie’s outstretched hand, piercing the upper-right corner of the net, giving the Coyotes a 2-1 lead.
USD defended a last-minute push from Northern Colorado and took the win, moving to a 2-1-2 record and climbing to fourth in Summit League standings.
Moore and Ostrem scored one goal each, Willer and Mitchell ended with one assist apiece, and senior goalkeeper Parker Rytz collected seven saves.
After the game, head coach Michael Thomas said Ostrem “hit a heck of a ball.”
“I tell the girls all the time: we have a plan so you know the right to break it,” Thomas said. “You do what you have to do on a given day.”
Thomas said he wants to see more shots on goal during games, but there’s a balance when choosing which shots to shoot.
“I’d like to get more than three shots in a game,” Thomas said. “One of the things we do talk about is not just spraying the ball at the goal from everywhere, but working into high-chance finishing positions, and I think the girls have been doing a good job of that.”
The Bears shot 12 more times than the Coyotes on Sunday, but USD has allowed only two goals the last three games, including 19 saves from Parker Rytz.
“It’s been a great season,” Rytz said. “I know all the girls feel really good and are super pumped about how the last three games have gone.”
“We have a great open line of communication in the back and we’re continually talking and listening and it’s been super helpful for me as well as the other girls,” Rytz said.
Thomas said unity across USD athletics helps each individual team.
I was proud of the team today and every player on that bench was pulling for a victory,” Thomas said. “We had the majority of our team out at volleyball Friday where they had their huge win at Cal and we saw a bunch of volleyball players here today. I’m really happy with the spirit.”
USD’s next match is in Omaha next Friday against Creighton, who took down South Dakota State 1-0 less than an hour after the Coyote’s win in Vermillion.
“It’s obviously a big test. But in Division I soccer, every team is a big test,” Thomas said. “The result today doesn’t change what we do over the course of the week.