UMD soccer endures weather, late game onslaught in 3-2 upset of Bridgeport
DULUTH, MN -- The UMD women’s soccer team (2-1, 0-0 NSIC) defeated the defending national champion University of Bridgeport Purple Knights (0-3, 0-0 ECC) 3-2 Thursday, Sept. 12th at Malosky Stadium in a game marred by gloomy weather.
The Bulldogs would strike first thanks to a Hannah Caldwell tally in the eighth minute. The sophomore forward was the recipient of a lucky bounce as a Logan Nash pass took a strange ricochet over the foot of a Bridgeport defender before landing right in Caldwell’s wheelhouse where she promptly sent it past the keeper to make it 1-0 UMD.
The Purple Knights pushed back with a few chances of their own before finally breaking through with the equalizer in the 15th minute. Last year’s National Player of the Year, Maegen Doyle, burst past much of the Bulldog defense and sent a knuckling shot past UMD goalkeeper Sophia Grenz. The ball bounced off the post before slowly spinning into the net to tie the game at 1-1.
The two squads continued to trade chances, but both defenses would hold strong, and ultimately the first half would end with the teams tied at one a piece.
The second half appeared to be headed for much of the same, as the first 15 minutes clicked off without either team generating much of anything offensively. Things quickly changed though as the Bulldogs once again took the lead on a goal by forward Logan Nash in the 62nd minute.
Nash found herself with an open net to shoot at after a Mandy Conkel free kick slipped through the hands of Bridgeport goalkeeper Claudia Torres and landed at her feet. She did not miss on the shot and the Bulldogs found themselves up once again, this time 2-1.
Less than three minutes later, the Bulldog offense struck again. This time following a Bridgeport yellow card after defender Annie Bjork held UMD midfielder Julia Osborne near midfield. On the play, UMD would utilize a set piece, with defender Megan Vatne faking a shot before clearing out and allowing junior forward Holly Kaboord to laser a beautiful shot past the goalkeeper Torres, putting the Bulldogs up 3-1.
The Purple Knights once again pressed back, and brought themselves within one on another Maegen Doyle marker in the 78th minute. Doyle converted on a free kick opportunity from 18 yards out, blasting a high shot that flew in and out of the hands of UMD goalie Grenz before entering the net.
The UMD defense would bend but not break down the stretch, and time would expire with the Bulldogs holding on for the huge 3-2 victory.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sophia Grenz was huge for the Bulldogs in the win finishing with seven saves on nine shots on goal (77% sv percentage).
The team will take an eight day break before returning to Malosky Stadium Friday, Sept. 20th to face the University of Minnesota Crookston in their NSIC opener. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. The game, and all NSIC home matches this season, can also be found at umdbulldogs.com.