The Coyotes are one point shy of breaking into the conference playoff threshold after a win against Omaha Thursday and a tie against South Dakota State Sunday.
USD vs Omaha
After a scoreless first half, USD roared back to secure four goals to defeat Omaha 4-2 on Thursday at First Bank & Trust Soccer Complex in Vermillion.
The victory in the annual Pink Game, to recognize breast cancer awareness, moved USD (7-9, 2-3 Summit) up to a tie for fifth place with Oral Roberts in Summit League standings.
After a stale 47 minutes, junior midfielder Alexis Mitchell, on an assist from senior midfielder Taryn Labree, scored her fifth goal of the season for the first score of the game.
Minutes later, senior forward Kellee Willer scored another goal for the Coyotes off a pass from senior defender Taylor Kelly.
Omaha fired back as Bailey Cascio scored the Maverick’s first goal with 40 minutes remaining.
A minute later sophomore midfielder Taylor Cotter passed the ball to Willer, who scored her second goal of the game, netting the match-winner.
“At half time we never talked about how many goals we wanted to score. We wanted to come out with higher energy and play like us more because it’s what we do best,” Cotter said.
In the 79th minute, the ball bounced off an Omaha defender and was pushed past the line, giving USD another goal.
At the 89th minute, Omaha’s Hannah Heinemann scored the second goal for the Mavericks but it wouldn’t be enough, as the Coyotes secured their second Summit League win of the season.
“Winning against Omaha really helped us feel like we are back up on our feet after losing a couple of games before and it gave us more motivation playing against SDSU and our next 2 games left in the conference,” Cotter said.
USD vs SDSU
Coming off a win against Omaha, the Coyotes participated in the South Dakota Showdown Series against Summit League-leading South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Oct. 27.
The game ended in a draw (1-1) between the two in-state rivals after double overtime at the First Bank & Trust Complex.
The Coyotes (7-9-1, 2-3-1 Summit) secured a goal against the Jackrabbit (14-3-1, 6-0-1 Summit) defense that has not allowed a goal since Sept. 6.
In the 20th minute, South Dakota State’s Leah Manuleleua found Maya Hansen who struck the back of the Coyote net, giving SDSU an early lead.
After halftime, the Coyotes, rebounded using the same second-half energy they showed against Omaha, to secure their first goal.
After 12 consecutive shutouts for SDSU, the Coyotes junior forward Maddison Sullivan launched the ball into the Jackrabbit net.
In overtime, SDSU’s Hansen sailed a free-kick after USD freshman goalkeeper Bella Alessio received a yellow card after charging out of the box.
During the 109th minute, Alessio corralled her fourth save of the match in the closing seconds of the game, preserving the 1-1 score.
“We tied 1-1 against SDSU and they are undefeated in our conference and we all worked really hard to be the first team to score on them in the conference. We may not have won but being able to tie still helps us have a chance to move on,” Cotter said.
The draw placed the Coyotes one point behind the fourth and final place in Summit League tournament standings with two more league games left.
The Coyotes are set to face Oral Roberts (5-8-3. 2-2-2 Summit) on the road on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.