Huskies blanked by South Dakota State in 3-0 home loss

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Senior forward Kyleigh Dominguez dribbles Aug. 30 past an opponent in a 4-4 double-overtime tie against University of Louisiana – Lafayette.

Jarrett Huff

DeKALB — Rain wasn’t the only dreary part of the afternoon for NIU, as the women’s soccer team was defeated 3-0 Sunday by South Dakota State University.

The loss comes after starting the weekend with a win Friday against Marquette University.

Junior goalkeeper Megan Donnally recorded five saves in her third start of the season.

The first half saw a lot of back-and-forth, as both teams came out aggressive.

Tensions appeared high midway through the first half as players were pushing for position, causing officials to stop the clock and talk to some players.

“The other team was just a very physical team, and whenever you’re going against an opponent you can’t let them push you off the ball,” junior forward Amanda Czerniak said. “Our team was trying to increase the level of intensity that we bring.”

The Jackrabbits opened the scoring in the 27th minute with SDSU first-year forward Maya Hansen rebounding a missed shot from their senior forward Leah Manuleleau. Although NIU junior goalkeeper Megan Donnally made a save off the initial shot, Hansen was there to pounce on the loose ball.

In the 28th minute, SDSU senior forward Shayna Stubbs attempted a shot on goal, but Donnally was there to make the save.

By the end of the first half, NIU had attempted one shot while SDSU had 11, including three shots on goal.

The Huskies were able to advance the ball but had trouble getting good shooting opportunities.

In the second half the Huskies had trouble keeping the ball on their opponent’s side of the field, as a combination of fouls and bad passes stopped a few advances.

NIU also struggled with keeping the ball off of its own side of the field after getting stops.

“I think we have to stay more disciplined from the beginning to win the ball, or not allow them to get forward rather, and then transition,” Head Coach Julie Colhoff said.

Donnally made her first save of the second half from a shot by senior Midfielder Carina McLennan.

Hansen attempted another shot on goal in the 60th minute, but Donnally picked up the save.

Donnally also made a save in the 69th minute when McLennan attempted a shot.

In the 73rd minute SDSU sophomore midfielder Sunniva Dunagan scored for SDSU, putting the Huskies down 0-2.

With less than 30 seconds to go, Manuleleau was able to score, all but sealing the game for the Jackrabbits as they’d go up 3-0.

The Huskies struggled to get shots in the second half with zero attempts to the Jackrabbits’ 11. NIU had a total of one shot to SDSU’s 22 shots, with 8 being on goal.

“I think we didn’t work hard enough today,” Colhoff said. “That’s pretty much the biggest issue.”

With the loss, women’s soccer sits at 2-4-1 ahead of Mid-American Conference play, an improvement from last season’s 1-7 record before conference play.

NIU will return to the field 7 p.m. Friday to face Ohio University at the Soccer and Track Complex.