The NDSU Bison women’s soccer team drew the Denver University Pioneers 0-0 at Dacotah Field this past Friday night.
The Bison dominated the first half, looking the far superior team throughout. A determined NDSU offense was able to carve apart the Pioneers defense. A strong passing performance from the midfield, guided by even-keeled senior Amy Yang drove the Bison. Crosses consistently rained into Denver’s eighteen-yard box. The best of which led to a goal from the Bison which was called off for offsides, much to the chagrin of Bison fans.
The Herd was able to turn defense into offense, which kept Denver on its toes and the Bison deep in the Pioneer’s defending third. The best chance of the half for the Bison came off of sophomore Holly Enderle’s right foot, however the shot was blasted wide left. Despite the constant pressure, NDSU was unable to convert.
Training and playing in the high altitude of the Mile High City certainly showed to be an advantage. Denver was able to thwart NDSU’s wide attacking play with their quick and athletic defenders, however they were unable to muster much of an attack. NDSU controlled the game in the first half, which looked promising going into the second half.
The Bison began the second half much more tacitly, and Denver took advantage. The Pioneers were able to make the game theirs and took control for most of the second half. Denver’s best scoring chance of the night came on Hannah Adler’s curling effort, which sailed wide right. Averaging just 0.77 goals scored per game, the Pioneers struggled mightily against NDSU’s defense, which has conceded the second fewest amount of goals in the Summit League.
Lacking for firepower, Denver turned the game into a hotly contested battle in the midfield. Slowly but surely, the Bison turned momentum back in their favor, as NDSU began reapplying pressure deep in Denver territory. The Bison created chances, however they were undone by poor finishing and Denver’s goalkeeping tandem. In the 84th minute, Mariah Haberle made a run from midfield, sliced through Denver’s defense and laid the ball off to Yang at the top of the eighteen yard box, but Yang missed narrowly.
Both extra time periods were equally contested between the Bison and Pioneers, but ultimately lacked a defining moment. Denver played for the tie while NDSU exhausted all of their effort into scoring the game winner which never came. The Herd ended the night with sixteen shots, six of which were on target. NDSU only allowed four shots from the Pioneers.
With the tie, the Bison moved to 3-1-1 in conference play. The Herd move on with a road match on the 23rd in Fort Wayne against the Indiana University – Indiana Purdue Mastodons forthcoming.