(MSU Billings release)
BILLINGS - Hannah Richter scooted behind the defense and scored in the 58th minute as University of Mary snuck past Montana State University Billings 1-0 in women’s soccer Saturday afternoon at Yellowjacket Field in the Rimrock Classic tournament, presented by Granite Health and Fitness in memory of Trevor Wildberger.
Richter received a pass from Kylee Welch from directly behind, chipped the ball forward and leaped over MSUB goalkeeper Abby Hamilton, then buried a shot into the left corner of the net. The single miscue for the ‘Jackets proved to be the difference in the game and despite several quality scoring chances and six second half shots, MSUB is still searching for its first win and travels to Minot State University September 17.
“It was a tough loss for us,” said head coach Stephen Cavallo postgame. “I thought we played well enough to deserve a better result. The goal we conceded was a long ball that we should not have allowed. We created some good chances certainly in the second half and it was an improvement over Thursday’s game in terms of what we created and how dangerous we were on offense, but we still definitely need to fine tune some things.”
Alexa Iacolucci led the second half serge for MSUB and finished with four shots, three landing on goal in 71 minutes of action. Haley German also played well with two shots on net.
“Alexa did a great job playing midfield, center back for us,” Cavallo said. “Really wherever we’ve needed her, she’s done well. It was nice to see her have another good game and she really created a lot for us today.”
University of Mary goalkeeper Madisyn Waltman made six saves to pick up her second shutout of the weekend. Hamilton posted three saves for MSUB in her second regular season start in goal for the ‘Jackets.
Perhaps the best chance for MSU Billings to score came off a free kick at the top of the box with 39 minutes to play in the second half. Iacolucci curled a shot to her left and forced Waltman to make a diving save near the far post.
Iacolucci put another free kick shot on goal with 2 minutes, 40 seconds left in the contest but Waltmann hugged the ball to stamp out any MSUB chance of forcing overtime.
The Yellowjackets (0-2-2) play Minot State University on the road Tuesday to close out their non-conference schedule. University of Mary (2-0-0) next plays September 20 against Northern State University in the Northern Sun Conference.
“We’ve come a long way so far,” Cavallo said. “These games are preparing us for the GNAC schedule and the nice thing is, everyone starts 0-0. We’d love to pick up a win next week against Minot State but ultimately it’s about how we play and how we prepare.”
THE BUZZ: Alexa Iacolucci was named St. Vincent Healthcare player of the game…The goal drought continued for the ‘Jackets Saturday. MSUB women’s soccer has not scored a goal at home in its last 211 minutes of play, stemming back to Haylee Gunter’s marker against Western Washington on October 27, 2018.