For the second weekend in a row at home, the Minnesota State soccer team split games coming out with a loss at the hands of St. Cloud and a big victory over Minnesota Duluth. The team is now sitting on a 2-2-1 record and are 1-1 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).
Opening up the weekend, the Mavericks played the St. Cloud State Huskies on Friday. The game’s first goal came from MNSU when sophomore forward Morgan Cottew scored just under 18 minutes into the game off an assist from Senior midfielder Kiana Nickel. It didn’t take long for St. Cloud to strike back though, as just less than two minutes later the Huskies’ Kate Fearing scored an unassisted goal to tie it up 1-1.
The majority of the rest of the game was a gridlock, as neither team was able to get ahead. With just over five minutes left in regulation, it was the Huskies who would pull ahead thanks to a goal by Hannah Marion. Minnesota State wasn’t able to get anything in the final minutes and St. Cloud came out victorious, 2-1.
Red-shirted freshman goalkeeper Alexa Rabune took the loss at goalie but had three saves in the game. Minnesota State had nine shots on goal to St. Cloud’s five.
It would not be long before the Mavs bounced back. On Sunday, they took on Minnesota Duluth and earned a huge shutout victory that featured a hat trick from freshman forward Taylor Kenealy
“I was really impressed with our bounce back,” Head Coach Brian Bahl told Minnesota State Athletics.
The Mavs got things popping just under five minutes into the game when Senior midfielder Dana Savino scored the first goal off an assist from sophomore forward Morgan Cottew and the Mavs would not let up from there. A few minutes later, Cottew would put up a goal of her own after an assist from Nickel.
After that, it was the Taylor Kenealy show. She scored her first goal about sixteen minutes into the game off an assist from Cottew. Less than three minutes later she struck again, this time the assist coming from freshman midfielder Alesha Duccini. The first half ended with the Mavericks possessing a dominating 4-0 lead.
The final goal of the game was the one that secured Kenealy’s hat trick. Shortly after the second half started, Kenealy tallied her third goal of the game coming off an assist from junior midfielder Jenny Hoerter.
“That’s going to be the progress moving forward, just trying to create opportunities and then when we get those opportunities to capitalize and Taylor did a great job of that today,” Bahl told Minnesota State Athletics on the hat trick.
Minnesota State played both Rabune and red-shirted sophomore Taylor Livermore at goalie.
“Practicing with my other goalkeepers Taylor Livermore and Ryann Rydeen have also helped make me feel more comfortable in games,” Rabune said. “We all really push each other in practices to be the best we can, it keeps practices fun and intense.”
They combined for three saves on their way to the shutout victory. The Mavs led in shots on goal with nine.
The Mavericks will be hitting the road to continue NSIC action as they will take on Sioux Falls Friday, September 23 and they will be back in Mankato for a game against Southwest Minnesota State on Sunday. The Mavericks defeated Sioux Falls last year 7-0 in Mankato, and also defeated the Mustangs of Southwest Minnesota State 4-0 in Mankato as well in 2015.