Coming off two consecutive wins, the North Dakota State women's soccer team will hit the road this week to conclude the non-conference portion of its schedule. The Bison will play Northern Iowa at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, before traveling to Springfield, Mo., for a match with Missouri State on Sunday, Sept. 16. Both Northern Iowa and Missouri State are members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Series vs. Northern Iowa
North Dakota State holds a 5-2-0 lead in the all-time series with Northern Iowa. The Bison claimed a 1-0 victory in their season opener at UNI on Aug. 21 last season, with Morgan DeMike scoring the lone goal.
The Series vs. Missouri State
Sunday's match will be the first-ever meeting between North Dakota State and Missouri State. The Bison are 9-9-2 all-time against members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
About the Northern Iowa Panthers
Northern Iowa (3-6-0) is in the midst of a six-game losing streak after starting the season with wins over North Dakota, Western Illinois and Eastern Illinois. North Dakota is the lone common opponent for the Bison and Panthers so far this season. UNI topped UND by a score of 5-0 on Aug. 17, and NDSU posted a 3-0 win at UND on Sept. 9.
Sophomore Charlotte Jones leads the Panthers with three goals this season. Junior goalkeeper Erin Zaideman owns a 1.57 goals against average and one shutout on the season.
About the Missouri State Bears
Missouri State (3-5-1 overall, 2-1-1 home) owns wins over Arkansas-Little Rock, Nebraska-Omaha and Oral Roberts. The Bears played SIU-Edwardsville to a scoreless draw in their most recent match on Sept. 9.
Despite the losing record, MSU has outscored its opponents 14-13 this season, with 11 of 14 goals coming in the second half. Senior Michelle Sommer and junior Shelby Stewart lead the Bears with four and three goals, respectively. Senior Chelsea Voet has played every minute in goal for Missouri State, posting a 1.39 goals against average.
Catching Up with the Bison
NDSU (3-4-0) has won two straight matches, topping Bemidji State 2-1 in overtime on Sept. 7 and North Dakota 3-0 on Sept. 9. The Bison have played a road-heavy schedule early in the 2012 season, with six of their seven games being played away from Fargo.
Despite being outshot 136-62 through seven matches, the Bison only face a 14-12 deficit in goals. Sophomore Anisha Kinnarath leads the team with three goals and 20 total shots on the season. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Sierra Bonham has lowered her goals against average to 1.61 and raised her save percentage to .827.
Last Time Out
The Bison posted a convincing 3-0 road victory over in-state rival North Dakota on Sunday, Sept. 9. Holly Christian, Anisha Kinnarath and Brooklyn Dyce notched goals for NDSU, and Sierra Bonham recorded her first career shutout.
Turning It Up
After averaging 3.4 shots on goal per game through the first five contests of the season, the Bison have put 16 shots on goal over their last two matches.
Leading the Charge
Sophomore Anisha Kinnarath has recorded 12 shots on goal this season - more than one-third of NDSU's team total of 33.
Freshman Lizzie Lukas has made her presence known early in her career, tallying two game-winning goals in her first six matches for the Bison. Lukas scored the game-winner in NDSU's 3-2 win at Eastern Washington on Aug. 24, and pulled the feat again in a 2-1 double-overtime victory over Bemidji State on Sept. 7.
NDSU has allowed only one goal in its last 198 minutes of action. The Bison limited Bemidji State to one goal in 108 minutes on Sept. 7 and held North Dakota scoreless on Sept. 9.
In six matches this season, NDSU redshirt freshman goalkeeper Sierra Bonham has totaled 43 saves. She has single-game totals of six, seven, eight, 10 and 11 saves, and her average of 7.17 saves per game is on pace to set the Bison single-season record. The current record of 5.88 saves per game was set by Karli Kopietz in 2005.
Cook Tallies First Victory as Head Coach
NDSU first-year head coach Mark Cook earned his first career victory on Aug. 24 when the Bison defeated Eastern Washington, 3-2.
Lukas Scores the Game-Winner
North Dakota State freshman Lizzie Lukas picked an opportune time to notch her first career goal, scoring the game-winner in the 84th minute on Aug. 24 to give the Bison a 3-2 road victory over Eastern Washington. The Bison traded goals with EWU twice before Lukas took a pass from redshirt freshman Mary Krambeer and found the back of the net for the deciding goal in the 84th minute.
NDSU Picked Fourth in Preseason Summit League Poll
In a preseason poll of The Summit League's nine head coaches, North Dakota State was picked to finish fourth in the league. One year after finishing conference play with a 7-1-1 mark and advancing to the title game of The Summit League tournament, the Bison garnered 46 points in the poll. Defending tournament champion Oakland and defending regular season champion South Dakota State came in first and second, respectively, in the poll. Kansas City (47 points) edged NDSU by one point for the No. 3 spot.
Cook Takes the Helm of NDSU Soccer
Mark Cook is in the midst of his first season as the head coach of the Bison, having taken over on Jan. 25, 2012. He is the fourth head coach in the 17-year history of the program. Prior to NDSU, Cook served as the Director of Coaching at the Minnesota Thunder Academy for 11 years, building one of the premier club programs in the Twin Cities.
New Faces All Around
First-year head coach Mark Cook's NDSU coaching staff is full of new faces. Assistant coaches Chris Logan (Notre Dame College, '06) and Meghan Schoeberl (Northern Iowa, '08) and director of soccer operations Katie Luce (NDSU, '12) are each also in their first season with the Bison.
New-Look Bison Program
Of the 22 women on NDSU's roster, 11 are newcomers and 10 are freshmen. Only four starters return from last year's team that went 15-4-2 overall and placed second in The Summit League with a 7-1-1 record. The Bison return four starters, including All-Summit League senior midfielder Holly Christian and junior forward Katie Tallas, who is NDSU's top returning scorer with six goals last season.