The Minnesota State soccer team is looking as good as they have all year, and are going to be trying to continue their recent streak of domination over opponents every week. The team is currently riding a six-game streak of shutouts and enjoying nine of their last ten games coming from shutout victories. With just four games left in the season, these last few games could really end up shaping their rank and position as they get ready for the NSIC Tournament in early November. As of October 19, the Mavericks are the 8th ranked team in the country.
After competing in four-consecutive away games, the Mavericks are going to be returning home as they welcome Minot State University and the University of Mary. While Minot may have the better record, it will be important not to overlook the competitive nature that the University of Mary can bring.
Minot State is coming into the weekend sitting on an 11-1 record on the season, which puts them at the top of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) with Minnesota State close behind at number two. Minnesota State will be facing a steep conference challenge as Minot is undefeated in NSIC action (10-0).
The last time these two teams met was October 15 of last year. After a tough battle, neither team was able to pick up the advantage and the game ended in a 1-1 tie. One has to go back to Oct. 11, 2014 to find the last time a victory from either team happened. In that game, the Mavericks defeated the Beavers 3-1 in Minot, North Dakota.
Minot State is being led by Ninfa Ramirez. Ramirez is leading the team in points with 34 off of 15 goals and four assists. The closest player to matching her is Chloe Melton who has 20 from her seven goals and six assists. No other player is in the double-digits for points with the third best player having five points total. The key to the win for MNSU could very well come down to how effectively the team can slow down, or hopefully stop, Ramirez and Melton.
The Beavers have switched off between two goalies throughout the year but Erin Rafferty has received the majority of the starts with nine while Leila Torres has started in three. Both have played in at least ten games each. Rafferty leads in saves for the two with 27, but Torres follows close behind with 20. Rafferty took the lone loss of the season.
It’s interesting to note that both Ramirez and Rafferty were named the NSIC Soccer Players of the week for October 10-17.
On Sunday, the Mavs will take on the University of Mary Marauders. The Marauders are currently sitting on a 3-6-3 record. They are currently on a two-game win streak and tied the game before that.
The last time the two teams met was on October 11, 2015 when Minnesota State won 3-0.
University of Mary’s Michelle McGeary leads the team with 12 points with her four goals and four assists. The team has played three goalies this season but Hanna Smith has the most experience having started seven games and playing in eight and has 23 saves.
The Mavericks take on Minot State at 1 p.m., Saturday, and the University of Mary at 1 p.m., Sunday, both at The Pitch.