Bison pass Fighting Hawks for last playoff spot
On a chilly Sunday afternoon at Bronson Field in Grand Forks, N.D., the North Dakota State University soccer team won a critical match-up against their rivals to the north, the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks, 2 – 0. The win moved the Herd past North Dakota into sixth place in the Summit League standings and they now hold the final playoff spot for the league tournament.
Paige Goaley put the Bison (7-7-3, 3-4-0 Summit League) in front to stay in the 11th minute with NDSU’s first shot of the game. Olivia Lovick found Goaley in space outside of the penalty area and Goaley fired a shot from distance into the top left corner for her team-leading sixth goal of the season.
The Bison had another scoring chance in the first 45 minutes but could not capitalize. At the 19:11 mark, Kelsey Kallio tried to double the Bison lead, but North Dakota’s (6-7-4, 2-3-2 Summit League) Madi Livingston was up to the task and stopped Kallio’s shot to maintain the deficit at one for the Hawks.
Later in the second half, at the 60:53 mark, NDSU’s Lovick drew a yellow card on North Dakota’s Julia Briggs inside the box. Lovick stepped up and tucked away the penalty shot into the corner to double the Bison lead with her third goal of the season and her first collegiate penalty kick goal.
NDSU’s goalkeeper Abby Wilkinson, then held off late Fighting Hawk rallies to save the shutout for the Herd. It was the seventh shutout for NDSU, the most in head coach Mike Regan’s tenure. Wilkinson’s had eight saves to earn her 4th win against five losses and two ties.
Next up for the Bison are two critical matches this weekend at historic Dacotah Field on Friday and Sunday. On Friday, Oct. 21st, the Bison will host the South Dakota Coyotes with kick-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Then, on Sunday, the Bison host the league-leading Jackrabbits of South Dakota State University at 1:00 p.m. Admission to all regular season soccer games is free.