The Minnesota State women’s soccer team kicks off its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Monday.
The Mavericks will find out tonight who they will be playing in the first round of the tournament.
The team ended its regular season campaign on a two-game winning streak. The first of those two games took place in a 4-0 win against the University of Minnesota Crookston. The Mavs got back to winning ways after suffering their second defeat of the season at the hands of Minnesota State University, Moorhead.
“I give a lot of credit to our ladies. Having those results the previous weekend made it for a tough, challenging week, but they did a great job. We came at them with some different things that we wanted to try to do, made some adjustments and they bought in and accepted those things and implemented those over the course of the two games this past weekend and did a fantastic job of it,” head coach Brian Bahl said.
Despite outshooting Minnesota Crookston 36-2, the worry of if the Mavs would convert those chances into goals was still there.
“This year we’re always worried if the goals are going to come in because it’s been hard to come by. We were confident though that we were creating some higher quality chances. When you can get to that feeling where you’re feeling good about the chances that are being created, usually that’s gonna translate to some ball going into the back of the net,” Bahl said.
The Mavs’ regular season finale was a 4-0 win against Bemidji State University. This game was all about their energy.
“Our energy for that game was off the charts and we talked about that all week. We talked about it here today. The importance of whoever is going to win the game is usually going to be the team that brings more energy, and we had energy off the charts from the moment I met with them in the morning. Throughout the entire game, our energy was just amazing. I think that type of energy can carry you a long ways. Even when things maybe aren’t finding the back of the net, or whatever the circumstances are that you’re being faced with, if you keep your energy up, more times than not you’re gonna end up being the team that comes out on top,” Bahl said.
The last two games have been the team’s highest scoring games since the season opener against Oklahoma Baptist University. Adjustments in their strategy and mental approach, Bahl said, helped them achieve that.
“We took a different mentality and we made some adjustments to our style. We were less worried about being pretty, and more focused on let’s create the chances and do that as quickly as we can. We found ourselves in our attacking zone and our attacking third way more than we’d had maybe at any point this season in these two games, and it translated to goals,” Bahl said.
The Mavs now have their eyes set on winning the NSIC Tournament.
“Our goal is to win that thing every year. We haven’t lost in that tournament in 11 years. We’ve been eliminated by PK’s, two occasions. Otherwise, we won it every single year. Nothing else really meets our expectations. So we’re on a mission to win it,” Bahl said.
Header Photo: The NSIC Tournament begins on Monday, Nov. 6. (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)
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