Increased intensity is imperative

The Minnesota State women’s soccer team travels to Aberdeen, South Dakota for a matchup with Northern State University Friday. 

NSU is coming off of a 2-2 draw against St. Cloud State University, and has a 6-3-4 record so far this season. 

“They’re a tough team to play. They’ll man mark you everywhere on the field, so that can be tough to free up and find space. They’re hard working, they’re dangerous on set pieces. They’re a really tough team to score on. That combined with our troubles scoring, is worrisome. 

I think just the biggest thing is they’re going to be fired up to play us. They’re competing for a top four spot in the league, so they have a lot riding on the game, and I know that we’re going to get their very best. We know we have to bring our very best, or we won’t get the result we want,” Bahl said. 

The Mavericks are coming off of a 1-0 win against Wayne State College last time out. The Mavs were able to get an early lead thanks to a goal in the 14th minute by Allie Williams. They outshot the Wildcats 16-3 in the first half, but in the second half, both teams were able to generate seven shots. The evenness in shot attempts was a reflection of how the second half panned out in the eyes of head coach Brian Bahl. 

“I thought our first half was pretty good. We did a lot of nice things. Created a lot of chances. We still didn’t capitalize on those chances, but overall, the first half was really strong. Second half, we let the game get too open-ended and I just thought they out competed us, they brought more energy and effort to the second half. Because of that, the game was much more even in the second half and we should not be allowing that to happen,” Bahl said. 

Bahl believes that the team’s effort level wasn’t where it needed to be in the second half. 

“Most things were tied to effort. We let them out compete us for 50-50s, we didn’t pressure them enough. They had way too much time on the ball. We didn’t close our lines, gaps were too big. So there was a lot of flaws that created what the second half ended up being. We’ve been trying to address those this week, but it really boils down to the effort needs to be better if we’re going to get the things that we feel like we should be able to attain,” Bahl said. 

At times this season the Mavs have had trouble creating quality chances in the final third. Against the Wildcats, Bahl doesn’t think that was the issue for their inability to get more than one goal on the day. 

“The quality of chances was good, I think the execution wasn’t good. Our composure to execute in those moments is just not where it needs to be, but hoping that we can find it. Got a lot of players that can do great things in regards to those moments, we just haven’t had the patience to execute or the composure to execute,” Bahl said. 

As they head into their final four games of the regular season, the effort and intensity levels going up is what Bahl wants from his side. 

“I just want to see a new intensity level and an effort level of this group go up. I told the team today I think we’ve flatlined a little bit. We started the season really strong in regards to how we competed and the mentality that we took into games. As we’ve hit this kind of mindpoint, latter part of the season, we’ve flatlined a little, and our intensity and toughness and mentality has taken a dip. That’s not who we are as a program, and so we need to challenge ourselves, we need to challenge each other to be better in those areas. If we do, good things will happen,” Bahl said.  

Header Photo: The Mavs women’s soccer team will take on Northern State University Saturday  after winning two in a row. (Dalton Grubb/The Reporter)

Write to Mohamed Warsame at

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