VERMILLION – Coming in on Sunday, the University of South Dakota women’s football team enjoyed a five-game winning streak and beat St Thomas to open the home conference on Friday.
The USD (6-2-2) fell to Western Illinois 2-1 Sunday afternoon at the First Bank and Trust Soccer Complex in Vermillion thanks to a pair of goals from the Summit League’s second-highest scorer entering the action Sunday, Amy Andrews.
“She’s a very good football player,” said USD head coach Michael Thomas. âShe’s really talented and in a lot of ways. She’s athletic, she’s good, she can do a lot of different things.
Andrews scored two goals in the first half to score the first goal against Coyote goalkeeper Emma Harkleroad since a Drake goal on September 9.
The Coyotes had plenty of chances early on Sunday, with a header on a corner kick off the crossbar, a field in the hands of Western Illinois goaltender Isabel Navas Rodriguez and a pair of kicks right past the net.
âIt’s hard to be upset with the number of chances we’ve created and I think we’ve had the game over big sections of the game,â said Thomas. “The message the team just heard is that we have to deal with the details in the final two-thirds.”
Taylor Cotter took four shots and registered an assist on Sunday. Abby Ostrem also assisted on the Coyotes ‘lone goal, an Alexis Mitchell shot that crossed the line to reduce Western Illinois’ lead to one with less than 15 minutes to go.
“There is a phrase in football that goals change games and that is an obvious thing, but I think it is very true,” said Thomas. “Coming down early allowed them to put the players behind the ball and they did a really good job when we took those offensive opportunities to have a few different bodies there.”
The goal was scored by backup Western Illinois goaltender Megan Rasmussen, who saw a few minutes of action after Navas Rodriguez had to leave the field for a few minutes to be evaluated after an injury.
The Coyotes fired two shots in the last minute to tie and tie, including a Cotter shot that went right past the goal with 15 seconds left.
âWe’ve talked about it as a team, that the Summit League conference tournament is one of the toughest in the country to compete with four teams,â Thomas said. “We’ve been talking about advancing team culture every year and these are the times when we find out if we’ve really done it.”
The Coyotes are back in action against Oral Roberts on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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