Women’s soccer opens season with OT win
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Women’s soccer opens season with OT win

By Emily Rotthaler — After three weeks of pre-season, the addition of 20 freshman players, and three scrimmages, Morningside’s women’s soccer team has officially started its new season. The Mustangs won 3-2 against William Penn University with a penalty kick by freshman midfielder Antonia Janssen in overtime.

The other two scorers for Morningside were also freshmen — forward Ellie Gengler and midfielder Nathalie Larsson.

Janssen, Gengler, and Larsson are three of the 20 new players who entered the team this August. Coach Tom Maxon said after a defensively strong last season it was time to bring some more offensive talent into the mix and find a way to score more frequently.

“We returned a fairly decent number of back half players on the older group, and then needed to find a way to score more goals,” Maxon said, adding, “I think we have a lot more attacking options and finishing ability now.”

Of the three scrimmages in pre-season, the team tied one against the University of Sioux Falls and won another game against a local U-19 club team. In a heated third scrimmage, the Mustangs lost 2-1 against Northern State University after outshooting the opponent with 18-9 shots.

Consequently, the Mustangs’ new offense still has room to improve on its finishing ability but with a total of eight goals in four games, it looks like the team is on track to do exactly that.

Another challenge this season will be to keep up the defensive strength from last year. One person who will play a major role in that is senior goalkeeper Sarah Finn.

According to Finn, the defense still has to “sharpen up” before the GPAC (Great Plains Athletic Conference) starts, but so far she is impressed with the team’s performance.

“I think that our possession on the field is outstanding, and we really understand the movements we should be making both on and off the ball,” Finn said and added, “I have a lot of trust in the defense and our ability to build up the play from the back end.”

Next up for the Mustangs is a game against Cardinal Stritch University on September 5 at 12 p.m.

September 1, 2021