ST. CLOUD, Minn. – The Michigan Tech soccer team opened its 2019 season with a 0-0 draw on the road against St. Cloud State Friday (Sept. 6). The Huskies had a number of chances throughout regulation and overtime, but they couldn't find the back of the net in the first match of the new season.
"Overall I thought we played a great game of soccer both offensively and defensively. Unfortunately, we struggled to finish those chances on goal and couldn't put the game away," said Head Coach Michelle Jacob. "St. Cloud State is a solid team, and we can grow positively from the intense battle both teams experienced today."
It took time for both teams to get going at the start, but by the ninth minute Michigan Tech saw its first opportunity on a shot wide by sophomore Gabby Sgambati. Junior Amanda Young saw her first shot of the day in the 37th minute on a shot low and to the left that she was able to collect.
Unlike the slower first half, the second half was a much more exciting affair as St. Cloud State got off a shot on goal 33 seconds into the start that was saved by Young. Sophomore Stephanie Yeager lined up a shot off a free kick that forced St. Cloud State goalkeeper Zoe Welsh to make a quick save. St. Cloud State (0-0-1) had two more chances in the midpoint of the half, but both of them hooked wide of the net.
Junior Jesse Jacobusse created an opportunity for Michigan Tech to pull ahead in the 66th minute when she went on a long run with the ball at the St. Cloud State backline down the right side of the field, skipping past challenges as she attempted to drag a pass back towards sophomore Grace Shaw, but Welsh dove on the ball before the returning All-GLIAC Second Team selection could strike.
Yeager had another opportunity on net when she unleashed a screamer from 30 yards out that was pushed aside by Welsh. Towards the dying moments of regulation, Young was called into action when St. Cloud State attacked on a counter and launched a hard shot that the junior goalkeeper was able to stop. Moments later, Shaw and junior Emily Zeitunian both had opportunities on goal that were saved by Welsh, and regulation would the score tied 0-0.
In the first overtime period, the hosts nearly got on the board when a cross bounced off the crossbar behind Young, and only seconds later Young once again had to make a save on a low shot by Monica Majeski. The second overtime favored Tech, starting with sophomore Tate Robison unleashing a shot from the top of the box that rattled off the crossbar, followed by sophomore Hannah Loughlin firing over the bar six minutes later.
The best goal-scoring opportunity for Michigan Tech came in the 108th minute when Sgambati drove down the right side past the SCSU defense and into a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper. She expertly crossed the ball across the goal, where three Huskies were in position for the shot. The ball fell to sophomore Allison Thelen on the left wing in front of goal, but she mishit it and the ball hit the side-netting.
Yeager led the team with two shots on goal, followed by one each by Shaw and Zeitunian, while on the other end of the field Young stopped four shots. Michigan Tech outshot St. Cloud State 11-10 and earned eight corner kicks to St. Cloud State's four. Claire Ford led the opposition with two shots on goal and five total, and Welsh made four stops on the afternoon.
"Amanda was solid in net and made some impressive saves to keep the net clean," Jacob said. "Our backline and defensive midfielders also did a great job to limit their looks on goal.
The Huskies are back in the pitch Sunday (Sept. 8) when they take on Minnesota Duluth at 2 p.m. EST. The teams met last season at Sherman Field, and the Huskies came away with a 2-0 win.