Soccer undefeated at first home game since COVID-19 pandemic

Augustana women’s soccer extends their unbeaten streak to five with a win and a draw at home this weekend.

A 4-0 win versus Minnesota State University Moorhead on Friday preluded a 1-1 draw versus Northern State University to end a four-game homestand for the Vikings at Morstad Field. Friday’s game was won dominantly, with the Vikings outshooting the Dragons 36-0. Those 36 shots are the fourth most in a game in Augustana history.

“It feels great to play on the Morrie in front of our friends and family,” junior forward Josie Arduser said. “I think we play our best when we’re on our home field because we know what we have to work with, and we are comfortable.”

Sunday’s game lasted all 110 possible minutes after a scoreless first half led to the Vikings and Wolves trading goals before the end of regulation and two scoreless overtimes. The draw gives the Vikings a 3-2-2 record on the season.

Freshman Sierra Barkus scored the lone goal of the game on Sunday for the Vikings, taking a pass from sophomore Grace Douglas over the goalie’s hands and into the back of the net in the 63rd minute.

“It feels exciting to be back home in front of friends and family,” senior forward Carlie Kray said. “Our team takes a lot of pride in defending the Morrie, and you can always feel the energy when we have the opportunity to have a weekend at home.”

Kray netted the game-winner last weekend to give the Vikings their first win against the Minnesota State Mavericks since 2008.

“We have a style of play that we like to stick to regardless of who our opponent is,” Kray said. “Continuing this streak into the next weekend is already a work in progress. I’m confident that we’ll show up to practice this week with the mentality that we’re going to do whatever it takes to be successful.”

The Vikings will head north next weekend to face the second-place Bemidji State Beavers, followed by a match with Minnesota Crookston.

“Our next step is being prepared to play on the road the next two weekends against another unbeaten opponent,” Arduser said. “If we’re able to capitalize on our opportunities this Friday, it’ll put us in a great position for the rest of conference play.”

Only seven games into the year, the Vikings have already gone to overtime three times.

“When it’s late in the game and we find ourselves tied, it always boils down to who wants it more,” Kray said. “Our team strives to be the fittest in the conference, and we use that to our advantage. Composure is a word we use a lot, and being composed in all areas of the field helped us find success late in the game a few times already this year.”

The Vikings will return to Morstad field Friday, Oct. 15, against Minot State at 4 p.m., ending the weekend with a match on Sunday, Oct. 17, against the University of Mary at 1 p.m.