MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota State University, Mankato Women’s Soccer team is gearing up for another season, as the Mavericks are set to take the field for regular season action Sept. 8 against Missouri Southern.
The squad is ranked No. 1 in the NSIC Coaches Preseason Poll and will try to earn an NCAA tournament berth for the ninth straight year in 2019.
The Maverick soccer team has won the past three NSIC Tournament Championships and comes into the new season with goals of defending the title for a fourth straight year, with an understanding that every conference matchup this season will be a battle.
“One of our biggest things, we try to push rankings aside. Usually when it gets to conference play, no matter what game, it’s going to be important when it comes to the end. Every team is going to play their best on their best day, and usually that’s against us. We need to bring our best every game. We can’t play down to competition, we need to play at our level and keep it consistent," Midfielder Alesha Duccini said.
The Mavericks have been able to put pressure on opposing defenses in the past with a relentless attack that doesn't lack shots on goal.
“The team should have the ability to score goals. We have one of our strongest front lines, we’re thinking we should be strong in the midfield and we have some speed coming out of the back as well. Our ability to score goals is what we’re banking on. We need to grow a little bit defensively, and all over the field, but I think we have some tremendous candidates to step in and help us on that side of the ball,” Head Coach Brian Bahl said.
“We try and be very relentless all over the field, but especially in our attacking style. We really try and put high pressure on defenses that we play against which most people aren’t used to. A lot of teams will sit back, it’s exciting, we get a lot of goals off our pressure,” Forward Dakota Wendell said.
MSU will showcase that style in Kansas City, Missouri, when the team opens up regular season play Sunday, Sept. 8.
The Mavericks kick off NSIC play Sept. 20 against the Winona State Warriors.