WINONA, Minn. – The Michigan Tech soccer team used solid defense and a timely attack on offense to secure a 1-0 non-conference victory at Winona State in the 2017 season opener Friday night. It's a formula for success that worked well for the Huskies a season ago and helped generate a victory on the road on the opening night of the 2017 campaign. The Huskies limited opponents to .766 goals per game and recorded 10 shutouts in 2016.
"We came out of the gate strong and set the tone early for how we wanted to play tonight," Head Coach Michelle Jacob said. "I thought our midfielder's, back line, and goalkeepers all played extremely well and I'm proud of our effort. Winona State is a very good team and this was a great effort by all of our players to earn this win tonight.
We were able to use our speed and we did an outstanding job controlling the middle of the field. Offensively, we got some opportunities down the field on breakaway chances and capitalized on one of those opportunities early in the second half to take the lead and then hold on for the win."
Freshman Brooke Shauer unloaded the first shot for Michigan Tech (1-0) in the second minute forcing goalie Rachel Oleson to make the save. The Huskies combined for three attempts at the net in the first nine minutes of action, forcing Winona State (0-1) to dig in on defense.
It was then Kirsen Hudak's turn to deny a trio of Winona State shots by the time the 21st minute of Friday's match rolled around. Both teams exchanged shots through the remainder of the half, but neither side could take the zeros out of the scoring column.
Less than two minutes into the second half, senior Sarah Boyd broke the scoreless tie with her second career goal for Tech. Freshman Emily Zeitunian worked the ball up the left side of the field and drew Oleson out away from the goal.
She then delivered the pass to Boyd, who had slipped behind the Warriors' defense. The play allowed Boyd to have a clear look at the net and she found pay dirt for what would be the game winning strike. Zeitunian was awarded her first collegiate assist thanks to the precision pass that found the foot of Boyd.
Trailing 1-0 in the 47th minute, the Warriors turned up the heat on the Tech defense and freshmen goalie Amanda Young, who had come into the contest to start the second half. Young was up to the challenge in her first collegiate match, turning away 10 shots during the course of the final 45 minutes. The effort helped secure the Huskies first win of the season, in addition to her first win as a keeper at the college level.
With time winding down, Tech's offense kept the ball in the attacking third during the final four minutes. Freshmen Jesse Jacobusse along with Zeitunian produced shots on goal to help keep the Warriors away from the Huskies side of the field.
Junior Andre Zubke paced the Huskies in total shots with three while Zeitunian, Jacobusse, Schauer, and senior Taylor Archibald each had two. The only shot Boyd took ended up being the game winner. As a team, Tech fired 16 shots with nine of them being on goal.
Hudak and Young combined for 14 total saves with Young turning away 10 in the second half.
Darian Molter and Abby Bohanski paced the Warriors with three shots each on Friday night. Winona State attempted 17 total shots as a team with 14 being on goal. Oleson picked up eight saves but allowed the only goal of the contest.
The Huskies will be back in action on Sunday at St. Cloud State for a 1 p.m. EDT kickoff.
"They are a great team and we are going to have to be at the top of our game on Sunday," Coach Jacob said. "We'll enjoy this win tonight and then look to get better and prepare for Sunday's match at St. Cloud State."