The Minnesota State women’s soccer team was back home for the first time in two weeks Friday as they took on St. Cloud State University.
The match ended in a scoreless draw — the Mavericks’ third draw of the season and second scoreless one.
The Mavericks were able to create some chances but were unable to find the back of the net. They outshot the Huskies 12-7, and forced five saves from their goalkeeper Jaylee Strickland. The closest they came to scoring was hitting the crossbar from a free kick on two separate occasions. One of them came in the first half from a shot by Allie Williams in the 12th minute.
The Mavs’ previous match against Minot State also ended in a draw, but head coach Brian Bahl said he felt his team controlled the match and an unfortunate bounce denied them a win. MSU assistant coach Elizabeth Vetter had different thoughts on the Mavs’ performance in their draw with the Huskies.
“A disappointing result for what we expected going into it. I think our effort was low and our ability to execute our game plan didn’t go as expected. We’re always going to come out and fight, but ultimately we are struggling to put the ball in the back of the net and that’s hurting us in situations like this,” Vetter said.
Among the problems Vetter noted were a lack of speed when they passed the ball and wrong decision making in certain areas of the field.
“I didn’t think we were getting the ball wide. We weren’t moving it fast enough. We were trying to go one v. one in the wrong places on the field. They’re a good team. We knew they would come out and press us. We knew they would come out and try to attack us and build through us,” Vetter said.
The match had 27 fouls and three yellow cards between the two teams. Despite the amount of fouls, Vetter said she doesn’t believe it should be something that affects the team.
“We expected that. St. Cloud’s a physical team, they always have been. So yeah, it can disrupt a game a little bit, but we can’t allow it to affect us the way that it did,” Vetter said.
After the first match of the season, goal scoring has been an issue for the Mavs and Vetter can’t quite put her finger on why.
“I don’t really know what it is at the moment. We’re getting shots. We outshot them 12-7. So we’re getting chances, I just don’t think it’s maybe the most productive chances. We’re giving up the ball when we could be taking a shot or not being focused enough in the final third. So obviously that’s a huge factor for why we’re not putting the ball away,” Vetter said.
At the back, the Mavs were able to get their seventh clean sheet of the season. Goalkeeper Mackenzie Rath got her 29th career shutout, which moved her to second on the all-time MSU shutout leaderboard, surpassing Alexa Rabune.
The next match for the Mavs was against the University of Minnesota Duluth Sunday. The Mavs were able to bounce back and get a 3-0 win.
The scoring began for the Mavs in the 30th minute when Addison Clarey found the back of the net after a pass from Libby Spangler. In the 55th minute, Maddix Archer capitalized on a misplaced pass from the Bulldogs’ goalkeeper and was able to score.
Bahl praised his team’s effort and defensive performance on the day.
“Great bounce-back game today. We had to overcome some injuries today as well and had a lot of players step up. Really proud of our ladies for that. Our focus and effort were excellent, allowing us more chances than we had been. We were able to find the back of the net which was great to see. Another phenomenal defensive effort for another shutout as well,” Bahl said in a press conference posted to the Maverick Athletics website.
Header Photo: Goalkeeper Mackenzie Rath moved to second on the all-time MSU shutout leaderboard after her performance against St. Cloud State. (Dalton Grubb/The Reporter)
Write to Mohamed Warsame at firstname.lastname@example.org