“We should have put it away much sooner than that, but with a team like that they rely on that, on catching you off guard. They loll you to sleep and then one moment can change the game,” stated Hogan. “At halftime they had two shots on two goals, we did a poor job, we’ve got to be ready for that.”
It looked like the Thunderbirds had taken an early lead after Katie Jones fired a shot from outside the top left corner of the box that found the far side of the net, but the goal was waived off on an offside call. It would then be North Dakota who struck first as Robyn Wujkowski got behind the SUU defense and beat goalkeeper Elyssa Hashimoto in a one-on-one challenge for the game’s opening score in the 15th minute of play.
Jones evened things up a few minutes later as she fired off another shot from the same area as her first try and again found the side netting to level the match at 1-1. North Dakota retook the lead in the 32nd minute however as Michelle Stingle headed a ball in to put the visitors up 2-1 at the half.
Southern Utah kept up the pressure in the second period and a free kick on North Dakota’s side of the field would result in a corner kick, which was eventually played into the box where Nancy Brich was able to tap in an equalizer. The match remained knotted at 2-2 until the final minute when midfielder Christine Meehan started the Thunderbird attack by sending the ball into the box where it deflected off a defender and to the feet of Green who put it away for the game-winner.
“In the second half we were more patient to get shots that were good quality, rather than just throwing everything at the wall to see what stuck,” explained Hogan. “I think we were a little more deliberate, and did a better job at that.”
SUU finished with a season high 25 shots, including 10 on goal. North Dakota took just four attempts on the day, half of which resulted in goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Tessa Christensen played the final 55 minutes for the Thunderbirds, recording one save to earn her first career win. Jones’ goal was her first at Southern Utah while Green picked up her second and Brich moved into the team lead with her third score of the season.
Southern Utah hosts Northern Colorado this Sunday in its final home match of the year. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and will be preceded by a special program for the Thunderbird seniors. Coverage of SUU soccer is available at www.suutbirds.com.