By MICHAEL GORMAN
Women’s soccer (3–3) rebounded from their loss at Kansas, taking the South Dakota Coyotes down 4–1 last Friday evening. Midfielder Lauren Milliet was the star for the Tigers on Friday, scoring three goals en route to an easy victory for the Tigers.
Playing at home, where they have fared well, the Tigers came into the game focusing on offensive pressure. In their previous four games, they were shut out twice, and several different players stressed that getting goals in the back of the net was a huge priority right out of the gate.
They did just that as Milliet struck in the 10th minute with a hard-driven shot through traffic to put the Tigers up 1–0. Throughout the game the Tigers kept up pressure, and the Coyotes barely made it past midfield with possession. The Tiger defenders were aggressive, but not overly so, timing their tackles perfectly and supporting each other well.
The Tigers were rewarded for their efforts twice more in the first half, with goals from Milliet and forward Clara Richter. Richter assisted Milliet’s second strike of the evening on a low-driven cross from the right wing. Milliet collected the ball and drove it home with ease. As for Richter’s first goal of the season, midfielder Jenna Wilt sent her a beautiful through ball, and Richter knocked it in off the left post.
After the third goal, all of the Coyote players met at midfield to regroup, and just two minutes later forced the only mistake the Tiger defense made all night. The Coyotes forced a set piece just outside the 18-yard box and caught the defense sleeping with a quick pass to USD substitute Zoe Anderson, who shot far post, bringing the game back to 3–1.
At half, the Tigers had outshot the Coyotes 9–2 and dominated in almost
every aspect of the game. The Tigers didn’t take the pedal off the metal until the very end of the game, as Milliet completed her hat trick and linked up with Richter for the second time of the night. Richter sent a long through ball to Milliet, and the star of the night took care of the rest, evading defenders and making a strong finish that the Coyote keeper had no chance of stopping.
However, the Tiger aggression that was on display did come back to bite them several times during the game, as they were called for offsides six times.
Keeper Jane Odom was dominant between the posts, making several athletic saves when she was called upon, but her defense did much of her job for her, only allowing seven shots all game. Midfielder Kelli Sullivan was a catalyst for the offense, spreading the ball around, and was more than satisfied with how the game went.
“We played our game tonight, and we’ve
been working on that in practice, so it was nice to apply that to the game,” Sullivan said. “I think we just want to
continue scoring a lot of goals, that’s what’s been holding us back. We’re really excited and looking forward to our next game.”
The team hosted Army West Point Sunday at noon and shut them out 2-0. Their next game is tonight, at Yale University, and we hope the goal scoring continues. Good luck, Tigers!