Bison soccer finishes non-conference schedule with a tie and loss

The Herd earns a draw in Idaho and loses in Montana

By Craig Schwinden

The North Dakota State University soccer team completed the non-conference portion of their schedule with a road trip to Idaho and Montana where they played the Vandals to a 0 – 0 draw and dropped a 3 – 0 decision to the Grizzlies. The Herd (4 – 3 – 3) will now stay on the road to open Summit League play at the University of Denver and at the University of Omaha.

Moscow, Idaho –

The Bison collected their third consecutive shutout and second for goalkeeper Abby Wilkinson, who made a career-high 10 saves against the Vandals (5 – 1 – 2).

Wilkinson’s previous high was eight saves last season against Baylor. She now has three career cleansheets, with two coming in the last three games overall for the Bison.

NDSU keeper Abby Wilkinson | Photo by Zach Lucy

The three consecutive cleansheets for the Bison is a first since February of 2021 when NDSU had two shutouts against Western Illinois and one against Kansas City.

The Bison weathered a strong start from Idaho, who had the first five shots of the game in the opening 15 minutes. The Bison would take control of the game, while missing out on several scoring opportunities, over the next 30 minutes to even up the shots 6-6 at the break.

Olivia Watson would force a save in the 17th minute before Devon Kavanagh would nearly put the Bison in front as she hit the crossbar 30 seconds later.

NDSU would hit the crossbar again in the 32nd minute, as Alicia Nead nearly scored from distance. Kavanagh would also force a diving save from Kira Witte in the 33rd minute.

Early in the second half, Idaho would have a scoring chance that was cleared off the line by defender McKenna Strand. Like the first half, Idaho would have the first five shots.

Kavanagh would then have a chance for the Bison in the 68th minute that was headed to the far post but was blocked by an Idaho defender. The Bison would have the next three shots after that, including one from Paige Goaley that forced a big save in the 74th minute.

Idaho would have two more shots in the final 10 minutes, but neither threatened the score line.

Missoula, Mont. –

The Bison wrapped up non-conference action with a 3-0 loss to the Grizzlies at South Campus Stadium in Missoula.

Montana (3-2-5) took an early lead as they scored in the eighth minute. Skyleigh Thompson made a run up the right side and sent a cross into the center of the box that was headed in by Delaney Lou Schorr past Bison (4-3-3) keeper Payton Mulberry.

The goal snapped a streak of over 312 minutes that the Bison went without allowing a goal.

North Dakota State would respond immediately and generate a couple of scoring chances, including a shot from Paige Goaley as she was taken down in the penalty area, but the Bison were not awarded a penalty kick.

Montana would double its lead in the 38th minute, as a shot from Maysa Walters hit the left post and bounced right to the feet of Riley O’Brien, who tapped in from close range.

Montana would add a third goal in the 84th minute, capitalizing on a set piece opportunity. Montana played a short corner and then Ava Samuelson sent in a cross, and Milly Massman headed it in from the center of the box.

Montana finished the game with 16 shots to just seven for the Bison. Goaley finished with five of NDSU’s shots, including two on goal. Mulberry finished with five saves.

The Bison will open up Summit League play on the road next week with a trip to the University of Denver on Friday, September 23, before closing out the weekend on Sunday, September 25 at the University of Omaha.

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