Women’s Soccer Falls to Morris in Penalty Kicks

Dylan Zimmerman

The College of St. Scholastica women’s soccer team saw its season come to a close this past weekend after falling to the University of Minnesota-Morris Cougars in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Tournament semifinals. The match, which was initially ruled a tie when the teams were still scoreless after two overtime periods, was to be decided by penalty kicks in order to determine who would advance to the conference championship match. The Saints, despite outshooting the Cougars 37-2, fell in the shootout by a score of 3-2.

The first half, as well as the second, was heavily dominated by St. Scholastica. It seemed as if the Saints had the Cougars right where they wanted them all match, but could never capitalize on the opportunities that they created for themselves. In the first half, the Saints outshot Morris 12-1 and recorded 11 corner kicks. They matched the amount of corner kicks in the second half with 11 more to make it 22 on the day. The Saints had a better second half than that of the first, which sounds quite impossible given the 12-1 shot margin, by outshooting the Cougars 19-0. Once again the Cougars defense held, thanks in part to some miraculous saves from goalkeeper Torri Jordan.

This wasn’t the first time the Saints had trouble scoring, as it seemed to be a repetitive them for most of the season.

“We were the better team when it came to possession, corners, shots, and setting the pace of the game, but we couldn’t seem to score,” said freshman Jordan Lundberg. “This has been something we have struggled with all season long and the game against Morris was no different.”

The first and only ball to be put into the back of the net during the regulation and overtime periods happened in the first overtime when St. Scholastica headed one towards the net off a corner kick towards Jordan, who punched it in herself to give the Saints the win for the time being. A foul would be called on CSS, however, and the goal was waved off.

The second overtime would be less interesting as neither team could really generate any offense, sending the match to a shootout to determine a winner.

The shootout started with both teams making their first attempt, which included senior Kirsten Olsen netting one to get things going for the Saints. Both teams came up empty in the second round, but Morris punched one in during round three to take a 2-1 lead over CSS. Peyton Bacso then converted on her shot attempt, tying things back up at 2-2. The tied score would carry over into the fifth round. CSS ended up missing their kick to start things off, which gave the Cougars a chance to end it right then and there. Yu Ito made sure to do just that, sniping one past CSS goalkeeper Roni Rudolph to punch their ticket to the championship match.

Despite the tough loss, the Saints can take many things away from the loss.

“We now know what we need to work on as a team for next season, whether it’s shooting, working harder in practices, or connecting better as a team,” said Lundberg. “We gave it our best, but we can’t count on putting a Saints jersey on and automatically winning in the end and that was something we learned from this loss. I personally learned from this loss that nothing is ever given, it has to be taken by determination and work.”

Of course, the season isn’t everything for the soccer program, as the friendships and bonds will still carry over throughout the school year and into the following season. Some of the players’ favorite memories weren’t even created on the field.

“My favorite memory from the season would have to be during pre-season when we went to the beach for the day,” said Lundberg. “We had a blast, ate all the food in sight, and got to dominate Dave (Coach Reyelts) in some volleyball … Just kidding, soccer players can’t keep a volleyball in the air to save their lives.”

The Saints will be losing some key seniors, however, as they say goodbye to Peyton Bacso, Alex Miller, Karen Kersting, Kayla Bauer, Kirsten Olsen, and Taylor Rozmark.