Warrior soccer leaves weekend with tough losses

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, sports reporter

The Winona State Warriors went into this past weekend with a tied season, 3-3. Last weekend, the team had a close 2-1 game against St. Cloud State University with a goal in the last five minutes to put the Huskies ahead. The team redeemed themselves on Sunday when they beat University of Minnesota – Duluth 3-0.
About Duluth’s game, fourth-year student Skyla Atkins spoke positively as she reflected on the previous weekend.
“We went into the game with the right mindset and were well prepared,” Atkins said. “Everyone on the team embraced their roles and we were a family, which is why we won.”
Back in 2019, the Warriors beat Minot State 3-0 on Oct. 27 but have a 3-7 record from 2012 to now. On Oct. 25 of 2019, the Warriors also beat University of Mary 2-1 with an overall 9-2 record across 2008 to now.
Heading into Friday’s game to start the weekend against Minot State, the team was feeling confident after Sunday.
Reanne Weil, a second-year forward from Ill, stated that the team was feeling amply prepared as they left on Wednesday to break the long drive up into two days.
“With our tied record right now, going into it we know that we have a big weekend next weekend,” Weil said, “so we really want to get these wins just to get that record on the win side.”
With Minot State currently being the top-ranked team in the NSIC division at 4-0, a win on Friday would’ve pushed the Warriors in the direction of the tournament.
While the Warriors couldn’t pull off a stunning win on Friday, they put up a good fight with an end score of 1-0, putting Minot State at 5-0 and Winona State at 3-4.
The goal came with 20 minutes left in the game by Sofia Lewis and assisted by Lainey Sandberg. The Beavers and the Warriors had an even number of corner kicks (five) and fouls (seven).
Warriors had a slight advantage in shots with nine compared to Beavers eight. Shots on target included seven for Winona State and only five for Minot State, forcing a good game from the Beavers goalkeeper Maddie Kindred.
Graduate student Missy Greco led the game with four shots and three shots on goal, followed by fourth-year Riley Harmon with two shots and one shot on goal.
Tied below Greco and Harmon for game leaders are fourth-year student Ella Roberts and first-year student Abigail Williams at one shot and one shot on goal each.
The Warriors continue through N.D. with a game against University of Mary on Sunday. The last matchup between the two ended with a Warrior win at 2-1, with an overall 9-2-1 history from 2008-2019.
To kick off this month of October while simultaneously finishing up their first road trip, Winona State University traveled to the MDU Resources Community Bowl located in Bismarck, North Dakota to face off against the University of Mary.
Winona came off a 1-0 loss to Minot State University in which Sunday’s game could’ve gone either way. University of Mary came into the matchup after a comfortable 2-0 win versus Upper Iowa University on Friday.
Looking forward on the rest of the season, the team has the same goal as every team: making it to the tournament.
“I know they (Warriors) haven’t in quiet some time now and I think this team, with the chemistry that we have, we have the best chance to go this year,” Weil said. “So I really hope that we can make it to the tournament and go far in it as well.”
The last time the team was in the NSIC tournament was 2018 against Augustana and their last time in the NCAA tournament was 2015 against Minot State.
On paper, University of Mary seems to have better form. On the field however, Winona held their ground throughout regulation time.
In the first half of Sunday’s game, the Warriors came out strong offensively with three shots compared to UMarys’s lone shot.
UMary would have to save one of those three first half shots while fouling one less than Winona.
The second half would be a different story. University of Mary would see four shots in the second half and two of those shots would be dangerous enough to save while Winona would take two shots, but none would warrant a save from the keeper.
The 90-minute game ended with a score of 0-0 with a good fight from both teams. However, three minutes into overtime UMary’s Kendra Park scored the lone game point with an assist from Cassidy Pierce.
One of the game leaders against UMary includes fourth-year student Skylar Atkins from Marion, Iowa. Atkins suffered an injury from her second-year off season that resulted in a complete left ankle reconstruction in Feb. of 2021.
Her first game back was Sept. 26 against Duluth when she subbed in for fellow captain Riley Harmon.
“When I went in, I was reminded what the fight to get back was for, it was for the feeling,” Atkins said. “When I step onto the field, I feel free, all my worries are gone.”
Atkins has gone on to play in every game since then and plans to continue that path after a successful recovery.
This weekend puts the Warrior soccer team at a 3-5 season so far. Going into Homecoming Week, the Winona State Warriors will continue on the road to play Concordia University, St. Paul on Friday Oct. 8 and Minnesota State University – Mankato on Sunday Oct. 10.