UMC Women's Soccer Falls 0-2 to Sioux Falls on Senior Day

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The University of Minnesota Crookston Women’s Soccer team fell 0-2 in a close match against the University of Sioux Falls on senior day, Friday, October 22. 

Red-shirt senior Gabriela Pinto started for the Golden Eagles and was taken out after the Cougars kicked the ball out of bounds. 

Pinto, who decided to come back for another season, tore her ACL in September against Concordia and has been a leader from the sideline since. 

“Gabby’s been great for this program,” Head coach Kyle Halfpop said. “When we lost her with the knee injury, I think we all felt it as a group. She hasn’t used it as an excuse. She’s been positive throughout it all. I couldn’t ask for more from her. She’s been a good inspiration for this team and this program.” 

The Golden Eagles came out strong in the first half, as freshman Abby Fettinger had multiple breakaway opportunities before being tripped up by the Cougars defense.  

On one of those runs, Cougar Ellie Ripperda was given a yellow card for an illegal tackle. In the first half alone, Sioux Falls had 9 fouls.  

Both of the teams played aggressively, as some fouls were called and others were not midfielder Jacqueline Calderon said.  

“I think on both sides, people were getting thrown around and tripped,” Calderon said. “A couple things weren’t called that should have been. Obviously, you’re not always going to get the call and can’t count on getting the call. You just have to play through it, and play until the whistle.” 

Although UMC controlled the momentum the entire half, they were unable to find the back of the net. The Golden Eagles had 7 shots in the first half, 3 of which were on goal. In comparison, the Cougars only 4 shots with 0 on goal. 

At the half, the team honored their seniors, Pinto and Hannah and Leah Macias. Pinto received a framed jersey with flowers, while the Macias twins, who joined the team this season, got flowers. 

Although H. and L. Macias had little to no experience, as they come from the softball team, Halfpop was grateful for their effort this season. 

“They’ve stepped into a very difficult situation and handled it well,” Halfpop said. “They are very coachable players. In a very short time, they’ve learned a lot of soccer stuff, since they started from ground zero.” 

The momentum the Golden Eagles had in the first half dissipated, as Sioux Falls responded with two shots over the crossbar early in the second half.  

The Cougars broke the tie in the 65th minute, as goalie Abby Olsen left the net to get the ball but didn’t get there in time. Cougar Grace Held scored an unassisted goal on an empty net.  

Olsen saved a goal moments later but wasn’t able to keep Sioux Falls from scoring again as Bailey Kehrli hit a header in off of a corner kick. 

On the opposite side of the field, Calderon attempted to cut the Cougars lead, but her shot ricocheted off the crossbar.  

Crookston couldn’t muster up more energy as time whittled off the clock. 

Eight Golden Eagles played all 90 minutes and two more played 89. The small bench has hurt UMC all season. 

“The fatigue, for sure, wears on us,” Halfpop said. “We’ve been dealing with it all year. We’ve tried not to make it an excuse, but it is difficult for our players to go through. They’ve never used it as an excuse or used it as a crutch. From a mentality standpoint, I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with when it comes to that stuff.” 

Calderon and Brooklyn Fischback led the team with 2 shots on goal. Olsen started in net and allowed 2 goals with 2 saves. Emma Stempien played 7 minutes in net and had 1 save.  

The Golden Eagles face off against the Southwest Minnesota State University Mustangs Sunday, October 24 at 1 p.m.  

Senior Gabriela Pinto Honored
Seniors Hannah and Leah Macias honored
Jacqueline Calderon kicks the ball
Alyssa Pavlacic fights for position
Abby Fettinger stretches to get the ball