After having all of their 2020 schedule cancelled, the women’s soccer team at MNSU is back on track to have a normal fall season in 2021. The team played their first exhibition game this past Friday, August 20, against St. Thomas, but will not play their first regular season game until September 4.
Minnesota State is set to play Missouri Southern to kick off their season, back in Mankato. The last time the two teams played was in 2019, so it should be very exciting to see the Mavs get back on the pitch against the Lions.
Although their 2020 season was cancelled, the Mavs got to play some exhibition games this past spring. They were very impressive, holding a 10-2 record, falling only to Augustana twice.
Coming into this season, the women’s soccer team is ranked first in the NSIC preseason coaches poll with a conference leading nine first place votes. Following close behind are second place Augustana and third place Concordia St. Paul who both earned three and four first place votes, respectively.
The Mavericks return some very impressive talent to the team this year, starting with their leading goal scorer from just two years ago in Jenny Vetter. Vetter tallied 20 goals in the team’s most recent “normal” season, proving to be a pivotal forward for the team for years to come.
Brynn Desens and Allie Williams look to back up Vetter in the goal column this fall, as they provided 10 goals a piece in the 2019 season. Mackenzie Rath is the only returning goaltender for the Mavs since 2019 where she held a 0.83 goals against average in just six matches and two starts.
We have not seen this women’s soccer team play an actual regular season game since 2019, which leaves a lot of question marks in viewers eyes on who will be the key players to watch throughout the season. Head coach Brian Bahl gave insight as to who he expects to be these players throughout the 2021 season.
Bahl said, “We return Jenny Vetter up top. Brynn Desens, who scores a lot and is very efficient. We do not have a ton of back line experience but we have Kelly Friedrich to watch for along with Libby Spangler.” Coach Bahl went on to say, “We have a collection of great leaders across the board on this team.”
Coach Bahl also has a few players who we should keep our eyes on this season who we may have never seen before. “Rachel Luedtke…” who is a Redshirt Freshman midfielder “is making great strides and Shelby Lund…” a Redshirt Sophomore defender “played great in the Spring. We expect them to create flare to our attack.”
This Minnesota State women’s soccer team has been superb over the past several years. “We try to be extremely high pressure in combination with a lot of speed. Our opponents are not used to high press and we take advantage of that. We also have a massive competitive edge and we take pride in it.”