MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Maverick women’s soccer put on a show this weekend as they welcomed three non–conference ranked teams to Pitch Field.
The tournament style play meant a head–to–head battle with the No. 4 team in the nation, Central Missouri on Friday and the No. 1 Grand Valley State Lakers on Sunday.
The choice to host non–conference competition early on in the season gave the team the opportunity to see how they bode against some of the nations most seasoned programs.
“Its little bit daunting to say the least to know that you have number one in the country and number one in the country coming into town – you know over the last few years they’ve won a lot of national championships between those two programs that we played and so, we knew it would be a test but we wanted to come out and really challenge ourselves early on,” head coach Brian Bahl said.
“It’s a huge test for us and I think we obviously passed that test. I know that our team is capable of going deep into the NCAA tournament and I think that we won’t get underestimated anyone,” sophomore forward Jenny Vetter said.
The team makes a strong case to move up from that 25 spot after defeating Central Missouri 2–0 and Grand Valley State 1–0.
And with a pair of shutouts against the respective 1 and 4 seeded teams, the strong defense controls the narrative.
In Sunday’s intense battle, the Mavericks were out shot 25-8, meaning that defense was heavily contested.
“This is one of the best overall team defensive games we’ve had. Usually, we always try to work out our defensive pressure throughout the whole field, not just the defense, and even the defense has worked very hard all week,” senior forward Dakota Wendell said.
The goal which ended up being the game winner came at the 85th minute from Wendell to Vetter.
MSU-Mankato will next hit the road against Winona State for an NISC match–up.