(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Avenging a loss to Northwest Nazarene just nine days ago, Montana State University Billings received the game winning goal from Summer Miles in a 1-0 win over the Nighthawks Saturday afternoon at Yellowjacket Field in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest. The game’s only marker came in the 26th minute. Alexa Iacolucci crossed a corner kick to the near post and Amanda Hemmer slid a pass through traffic to Miles on the other side, who promptly touched it in.
“I remember calling out to Amanda for the pass and she found a way to get it to me and I just tapped it in,” said Miles after the game. “We had a hard time last weekend so to be able to come back on our home turf and show we are a different team than how we played before was really important.”
MSU Billings (4-4-2, 3-2-0 GNAC) fell 4-0 to Northwest Nazarene (5-5-1, 2-2-1 GNAC) last week in Nampa, but remained steady on defense throughout Saturday’s game to pick up a third home win. MSUB goalkeeper Erinn Harder made three saves to earn her GNAC leading third shutout.
“To come back here and win after allowing 12 goals on the road last weekend really showed how resilient this team is,” said head coach Stephen Cavallo. “NNU is a super strong team with some of the best attacking players in the entire conference. They hit the crossbar twice, which helped us but it really showed what kind of character our players have to leave what happened last weekend in the past and get the result we needed. I was really proud of this group today.”
Northwest Nazarene pinned the Yellowjackets in their own end early in the first half and the Yellowjackets struggled to clear the ball out of the middle of the field. By the middle of the first half however, MSUB had shifted the momentum in their favor and outshot NNU 3-2. NNU continued to push for scoring opportunities in the second half, ringing two shots off the iron but failed to tie the game. NNU attempted 13 total shots in the contest but only three landed on frame.
MSUB defenders Amanda Hemmen and Courteney Shovlin played a full 90-minutes and limited GNAC leading goal scorer Rikki Myers to just a pair of shots on goal.
“It was the defense that really held strong today,” said Cavallo. “We got numbers behind the ball. We made it difficult to play around and frustrated them. Thankfully, it was enough to get the shutout.”
MSUB vaulted past three teams, including NNU in the GNAC standings with the victory and they now sit third among nine teams with nine points.
There were no cards issued and 10 fouls called in the brisk, 35-degree clear weather at Yellowjacket Field. Northwest Nazarene earned five corner kicks compared to four for MSU Billings.
THE BUZZ: Summer Miles was named St. Vincent Healthcare player of the game for the Yellowjackets. Miles had one shot on goal and a goal, her first of the year…MSUB improved to 3-1-1 at home…The last time MSUB defeated NNU was September 27, 2018 at Yellowjacket Field.
UP NEXT: The ‘Jackets have five days rest to prepare for Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon Thursday, October 17 at 2 p.m. They have seven conference contests remaining before the GNAC Championships in Seattle, Washington.
“To make the GNAC playoffs, we know we need to get results on the road,” Cavallo said. “This upcoming trip is going to be tough starting with Western Oregon Thursday but we’ve got to find a way to replicate the energy and skill we’ve seen at home. This week is a great opportunity for us to do that.”