Freshman Tiannah Moore scored the lone goal for USD in a 1-0 victory over North Dakota at First Bank & Trust Soccer Complex on Sunday.
The Coyotes (9-7-2, 4-4) did their part for a playoff push Sunday, but an Omaha victory over Western Illinois sealed the final seed in next weekend’s Summit League tournament. USD’s win finished UND’s (9-6-2, 3-4-1) season as well. Had UND won, they would have been the final team to get in.
“The thing that as a coach you are happy with and as a coach that frustrated with is that I think we are playing some of best soccer right now, and I think we did a good job of showcasing that over the last two games,” head coach Michael Thomas said. “We talk a lot about being ourselves and being who we are, and they did a great job of doing that today.”
Moore’s goal came in the 30th minute when Sophomore Dani Brown fired a pass to Moore who dribbled up and fired a shot for her fifth score of the season, second-most on the team.
“Personally I felt instantly amazing,” Moore said. “As soon as I saw it go in I knew that this is going to be our game and me setting the tone just made it so much more meaningful.”
Scoring a goal is no easy task on North Dakota as their goalie, Senior Olivia Swenson, allowed 10 goals all season, including the goal scored by Moore. In the other goal, senior Parker Rytz finished her career with yet another shutout. She had six shutouts and 90 saves her senior season.
Rytz was also tasked with preventing the Summit League’s leading scorer, UND senior Katie Moller, for doing what she does best. Moller had three shots, all on goal, but Rytz was able to stop them all.
“She (Moller) is obviously a fantastic player and we talk about not changing who we are for one player but respecting who the great players in the league are,” Thomas said. “I think the fact that to play against a player who has scored a lot of goals and to win with a shutout says a lot about the group effort on defense.”
Rytz, along with seniors Coral Suarez, Tayler Karas, Madeline Butterfield, Cooper Thau, Sydney Wilson and Zoe Anderson finished their USD careers Sunday. The team still has an amount of young talent, and Thomas finished his first season as head coach with a winning record, the Coyotes’ first since 2014.
The focus now shifts to next season for the Coyotes. Moore, along with Joana Zanin, Teresa Fontenot and Taylor Cotter are freshman who all made large contributions to the team. Thomas said his team is built for a playoff push next season.
“The first thing is that we have to recover and get our legs back under us. The women have put a tremendous effort into getting to where we are,” Thomas said. “The future is bright and there are pieces here. We have young players that have stepped up and played minutes and scored goals and players that have been in the back. We’re really excited about the future here.”