UMC Soccer Sees Bright Future in 2-3 Loss

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

Despite a 2-3 loss to St. Cloud State University, the University of Minnesota Crookston Women’s Soccer team had one of its best performances all year and looks to keep it rolling into next season. 

Head coach Kyle Halfpop said he switched up the game play a bit, anticipating next season, and the change paid off. 

“We figured we didn’t have a whole lot to lose, so we put players where we thought, ‘this is where we see you playing moving forward in this program,’” Halfpop said. “A lot of them played pretty well. I thought we looked good at times. We went through stretches today where we looked dangerous.” 

The two teams remained scoreless through the first 45 minutes despite the Huskies having the momentum a majority of the half. The Huskies had 17 shots in the first half with 9 of them being on goal. 

The Huskies had several golden scoring opportunities in the first half taken away with offside calls.  

St. Cloud came out of the second half strong, as they scored the first goal of the game in the 47th minute.  The Huskies added to their total in the 59th minute with another unassisted goal that soared just over the hand of goalkeeper Emma Stempien.  

Historically, the Golden Eagles have not played well trailing in the second half, but Morgan Laplante and Abby Fettinger flipped the script as they both scored to tie the game. 

Fettinger, who had the assist on Laplante’s goal, said the comeback was nice to see, as it helped shift the momentum of the game. 

“It was good to see,” Fettinger said. “We usually don’t come back, so it was nice to get some goals back and lift the spirits.” 

Laplante scored in the 62nd minute, and Fettinger scored on a penalty kick just two minutes later. The last time the Golden Eagles scored at least two goals in a game was in the 2019 season. 

With three minutes left in the tie game, the Huskies found the back of the net, and the Golden Eagles didn’t have enough time left on the clock to respond. 

Fettinger led the team with 1 goal and 4 shots, 3 of which were on goal. Laplante also had a goal on her only shot, while Kathryn Brainerd also put a shot on goal. Stempien played all 90 minutes allowing 3 goals with 16 saves.  

Although an injury to Abby Olsen put Stempien in goal, Halfpop said she is adjusting well and continues to gain more confidence, which will prepare her for the battle for the starting position next year. 

“I thought today she looked a little more confident in herself, which is good,” Halfpop said. “You need that as a goalkeeper. It’s going to be a really good spot for us next year where we’ve got all four of them in there, challenging for that top spot.” 

With the loss, the Golden Eagles conclude their home games for the year. They travel on Friday to face off against sixth ranked Bemidji to close out the season. 

Emma Stempien makes a save
Jaqueline Calderon kicks the ball downfield
Kathryn Brainerd kicks the ball to the corner
Alyssa Pavlacic dribbles past a defender
Jada Vanoverbeke passes to a teammate
Ashley Chomyn kicks the ball downfield