Minnesota trip yields two wins for undefeated Mavs


By Paul Freelend

Stephanie Kruse’s 15th and 16th goals of the season helped the Maverick soccer team continue its roll to the post-season with a pair of shutout wins in Minnesota.

Minnesota-Morris faced off with the Mavs on Thursday in a 3-0 win for No. 3 UNO that bore a stark resemblance to shooting practice. The Mavericks peppered the Cougars’ goal with 41 shots while Minnesota-Morris could muster just three shots in reply, only one of which forced goalkeeper Amy Price into making a save.

Brytten Kraft opened the scoring for UNO, scoring in the 17th minute. The Cougar defense was able to withstand the Mavericks’ pressure and hold firm for the remainder of the first half, but Anne Willrett’s 58th minute goal provided the breakthrough for the Mavs. Kruse sealed the victory for the visitors with a goal in the 77th minute, her 15th of the campaign, off a pass from Ashley Grace.

Having rattled off 41 shots with only three finding the net the previous day, the Mavericks traded quantity for quality in their shooting for their Friday match against St. Cloud State. UNO took just 14 shots against the Huskies. Six of those shots went for goals as the Mavs won 6-0.

Kruse wasted little time, putting the Mavericks up 1-0 in the third minute off a pass from Rachel Tushner. Willrett’s second goal of the weekend came in the 24th minute to set the Mavs ahead 2-0. After a scoreless half-hour, Grace fired home in the 60th minute and Jamie Cramer followed suit two minutes afterwards to double UNO’s lead to 4-0. Molly Herzberg twice got in on the scoring in the 88th minute, scoring a goal and combining with Christen Boeckel to assist on Akeisha Varnado’s goal 32 seconds later.

SCSU forced Price into action twice in the match but the freshman netminder came up with the save on both of the Huskies’ shots. The win set the Mavericks’ record at 16-0 (7-0 NCC) and tied the school record for most wins in a season set by the 2000 and 2001 UNO teams. In addition, the Mavs’ shutout was their sixth consecutive and 13th overall this season.

Having already clinched the top seed and hosting rights for the North Central Conference post-season tournament, UNO has one match left to break the record for wins. Augustana will travel to Omaha to play the Mavericks Nov. 2 in what will be the final regular-season home game for seniors Kruse, Varnado, Julie Moeller and Michelle Villanueva.

After the close of the regular season, UNO will play fourth-seeded North Dakota in the first round of the NCC tournament. Minnesota-Mankato, who defeated South Dakota 1-0 on Sunday to claim the third seed, will play second seed and national No. 22 Northern Colorado in the other first round match.


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