USD women’s soccer fell to Denver 2-0 in their opening conference match of the season on Friday.
The defending Summit League champion Pioneers scored first in the 22nd minute when freshman Samantha Feller received a pass from freshman Natalie Beckman.
Freshman midfielder Hannah Hiatt added to the scoring in the 35th minute with a free kick.
Denver (6-4-2) had the advantage over USD in shots (12-7), and shots on goal (3-1). USD’s three shots on goal were their fewest since Sept. 2. The loss to Denver was also only the second time the Coyotes were held scoreless in a game this season.
USD junior midfielder Amanda Carpio led the team with two shots against Denver. Carpio also leads all USD midfielders with 10 shots so far in the season, according to GoYotes.
Sophomore midfielder Alexis Mitchell said that the Coyotes spent most of the match defending their side of the field.
“Their offense was just so good that we never ever had much chance,” Mitchell said. “We spent a lot of time defending.”
Sophomore defender Abby Ostrem said that the Pioneers moved the ball well.
“They stretched out so much, they were able to find options quickly and then they did a really good job moving off the ball after they played it,” Ostrem said.
Junior defender Courtney Stodola felt that Denver’s offense pressured South Dakota’s defensive line.
“I think because Denver was so strong offensively, that we were kind of holding back more and playing more defense and what we should have done was press our defensive line up,” Stodola said.
Stodola said that the team learned from the first half and made defensive adjustments accordingly.
“We definitely learned a lot. … Our lines were pretty spread out. Second half, we fixed that and I think we were pounding on them,” Stodola said.
USD also committed 11 fouls in the match, compared to only eight fouls from Denver. This is a trend that has persisted throughout USD’s season.
According to GoYotes, The Coyotes have 134 fouls and six yellow cards through 13 games this season, an average of 10.3 fouls per game. They have committed double-digit fouls seven times this year and hold a 3-3-1 record in those games.
Mitchell sees the fouls as an inevitable outcome of playing with maximum effort.
“You always want to play hard and sometimes it is harder to control your body when you’re going 110 percent but there’s not that many yellow cards, which is a plus,” Mitchell said.
The Coyotes return home to play Oral Roberts (6-8) on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m.