BULLDOGS CRUISE TO 4-0 VICTORY OVER NORTHERN MICHIGAN
Thursday, August 30, 2012
With all the excitement, anticipation and hype that surrounds a season opener, it’s often difficult to get a team to fire on all cylinders the first time it takes the field against an opponent. The University of Minnesota Duluth found no such trouble Thursday evening, cruising to a 4-0 non-conference victory over Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich.
The Bulldogs controlled the play in the first half, maintaining a solid edge in ball possession throughout the majority of the opening 45 minutes. UMD was unable to consistently generate scoring chances, however, and a couple minutes of sloppy defensive play nearly put the Bulldogs behind the eight-ball early. Sophomore defender Megan Helberg prevented disaster on a couple occasions in the first half, making the biggest play of the young season in a tie game. With the score still knotted at 0-0, Helberg chased down a Wildcat forward and prevented an open-net try, clearing the ball out of bounds before NMU could capitalize.
Doing her best to prove her unexpected offensive production as a rookie was no fluke, sophomore midfielder Jennifer Smith put UMD in front in the 37th minute of the first half. Smith attempted a free kick from the left of the box 25 yards out, sending a blast high and to right corner that went off the Wildcat keeper’s hands and into a yawning net. The Bulldogs would take that 1-0 cushion into intermission.
It was all UMD from there, as the Bulldogs piled on the offense in the second half. Junior forward Dani Potter put the Bulldogs up 2-0, tapping in a loose ball off the foot of sophomore midfielder Kelli Klun. UMD would tack on a pair of insurance markers – on goals by Sally Stromme and Katie Schneider (the first collegiate goals of their careers) – to conclude the scoring.
Hanna Iaizzo made one save in recording the victory for the Bulldogs, who held a 10-8 advantage in shots on target for the match.
The Bulldogs return to action next Friday when they take Grand Valley State University in Mankato, Minn.
Return to all news.