Women’s soccer looks to lock up defense against South Dakota

By Sam Bauman

The women’s soccer team will look to rebound after a disappointing weekend at the Jackrabbit Invitational in Brookings, S.D.

The action will take place over two games, one on Friday and one on Sunday. The first game on Friday will place the Huskies against South Dakota. The second match will feature a matchup against South Dakota State.

Head coach John Ross is taking both games very seriously.

“We got USD on Friday and SDSU on Sunday. Two teams I’m pretty familiar with just coming from the summit league,” Ross said. “They’re both going to give you everything they got. USD just got a really big win against Wyoming; they’re looking forward to a strong season so we got to be ready to play. SDSU has been at the top of the summit league for the past five or six years.”

After a disappointing defensive performance against Purdue, and an underwhelming performance against Lewis this past weekend, Ross is looking for more from his defense.

“We’re looking to improve on team defending,” Ross said. “We want to start working together better as a unit. Instead of individual defending we want more working as a team to give support and balance and to get numbers behind the ball.”

A positive going into this weekend is the team’s ability to step up in clutch moments. The win against Lewis went to double overtime before senior Cori Frankenberg scored the game-winning goal. Late-game situations are stressed in practices.

“We do a lot of scrimmages in practice where we’re up a goal or down a goal,” Frankenberg said. “In that situation, I know we’re tired, but we’re going to mentally push through that. It’s definitely a team effort.”

Even with a nice comeback performance against Lewis, NIU isn’t satisfied. The players know they can perform better, and are going into this weekend with a renewed perspective and attitude.

“We’re approaching it with a fresh slate,” Frankenberg said. “I know we didn’t have the best weekend…. The fact that we won against Lewis and still aren’t satisfied says a lot about our team. We know we have so much to offer, and we have high expectations for ourselves. We want to prove to each other, and to our coaches, that we’re in this together. We want to push through and show people what Northern is about.”