HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech soccer team kicked off the 2018 season with a resounding 2-0 win over visiting University of Minnesota Duluth on Thursday. The Huskies capitalized on a pair of key scoring chances presented by the Bulldogs defense to record two late goals by a pair of freshman.
"I think once we got the nerves out after the first few minutes and started gaining momentum, I think the players did an excellent job executing the plan we had for them," said head coach Michelle Jacob after her team's opening-day win. "As we look forward, we really want to capitalize on what worked well for us."
Michigan Tech (1-0-0) fired five total shots in the first half and nearly broke through when Gabby Sgambati just missed slipping the ball past goalie Carlye Wright in the 33rd minute. The pressure would from the Huskies' offense would pay off in the second when the two scoring chances presented themselves. Meanwhile, Tech's defense held strong throughout the 90 minute match, keeping Minnesota Duluth (1-0-0) off the board.
In the second half, freshman Grace Shaw scored the first goal of the 2018 season when she was fed a perfectly weighted through-ball by fellow newcomer Gabby Sgambati and beat the Duluth goalkeeper low and to the right in the 65th minute. When a Bulldog clearance attempt went awry in the 81st minute, the ball deflected off of Sgambati. She pounced on the loose ball, positioned herself into an optimal scoring opportunity, and ripped a shot past the netminder in the top left side for the final goal.
"To get two goals by two freshmen is awesome," added Jacob. "I'm sure they'll always remember those first two goals."
Tech outshot Minnesota-Duluth 6-5 in the second half, and drew seven fouls while committing only five. Of the nine total shots by the Huskies, Shaw, Sgambati, and freshman Stephanie Yaeger all had two each.
Sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Young saved three shots to earn herself the first clean sheet of the season. Her biggest save of the day came early in the first half, with a looping shot from the top of the box forcing the second-year goalkeeper to get a hand on the ball and bat it away in the 18th minute for a Minnesota Duluth corner. Nan Glinsek had a game high three shots for the Bulldogs while Wright ended the evening with two saves.
Tech returns to the pitch on Saturday when they host St. Cloud State in another non-conference match at 1:00 p.m.