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Cougar women split pair of UMAC contests

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The University of Minnesota, Morris women's soccer team split a pair of Upper Midwest Athletic Conference games last weekend at home.

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Northwestern 3

UM-Morris 2

The Cougars and Northwestern College played a tightly-fought contest that was even until the 88th minute when the Eagles' Rebekah Kirby punched home the game winner.

The loss was the Cougars' first conference defeat.

Early on UMM had great success keeping the pressure on Northwestern. In the sixth minute, first-year player Tayler Fairchild knocked home a tally off a crossing pass from fellow first year Katie Kestner. It was Fairchild's second goal of the year.

The 1-0 advantage held until the 39th minute when Northwestern's Alyssabeth Hester scored off a pass from Lindsey Anderson.

The Cougars roared back and four minutes later, captain Maddy Gerber scored her fourth goal of the season, also assisted by Kestner, giving UMM a 2-1 halftime lead.

In the second half, the Eagles increased the offensive pressure on goalkeeper Emily Jacob. In the 60th minute, Heidi Anderson evened the score at 2-2.

For a while, the game looked destined for an extra period. The teams stayed deadlocked, exchanging offensive surges like punches, going back and forth until Kirby's late goal made the difference.

The win improved Northwestern's record to 2-6.

UM-Morris 2

Crown College 0

Rebounding from a difficult loss the day before to Northwestern, the Cougar women's soccer team picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and won a tough 2-0 match against Crown College Saturday afternoon.

First-half goals from first-year player Taylor Oistad and junior captain Liz Vold made the difference.

Early on, both teams had trouble establishing a lasting offensive pressure. Finally in the 37th minute, junior Amber O'Connor took the game's first shot.

This stalemate continued until the 23rd minute when a through ball from Fairchild found a streaking Oistad behind the defense. The Bloomington native calmly slipped the ball past the Crown goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead.

Vold entered the game on defense 10 minutes later for Kali Cordes. Standing just inside the 18-yard line, a lost ball ricocheted out to her feet and she blasted it home for the Cougars' second goal at the 9:44 mark.

Coming out for the second half with renewed vigor, the Purple Storm played with heightened intensity. Still, the UMM defense turned away every attack.

Jacob earned the shutout with four saves on the day.

Head coach Dan Magner liberally substituted throughout the game, keeping his players fresh on a warm afternoon playing 17 Cougars played against Crown.

The win brings UMM back to .500 with a 5-5 record. Crown dropped to 1-6.

This weekend, the Cougars host St. Scholastica and Northland in Morris

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