SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Making their 6th consecutive appearance in the Northern Sun Conference playoffs, the Augustana women's soccer team used a pair of first-half goals, and a stout second-half effort, to outlast Winona State for a 4-1 win. The victory marks the third time this season that the Vikings have scored four or more goals. Augustana will now advance to the semifinals of the NSIC tournament where they'll take on Minnesota State. Game time is set for 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 2nd in Mankato, Minn.
Augustana head coach Brandon Barkus is pleased with today's win, but knows his team has to improve if they want to make a postseason run. "No doubt, a win is a win in the NSIC playoffs so we'll take it, Barkus said, "but we need to relax more though, stay focused and pay attention to the details."
After 20 minutes of scoreless action, the Vikings broke through in the 21st minute. Skylar Moen dribbled down the left side, fired a ball into the box and Rebekah Thoresen used a downward header to find the back of the net. The senior's 5th goal of the year gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead.
Less than four minutes later, the Vikings were threatening again. Reiley Klose dribbled down the far side and once again used a great cross to find Rebecca Gasper who used a one-touch shot to score the Winona State goalie. The Vikings defense was also strong in the first half as goalie Claudia Pueschner made six saves. The Vikings went into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
Winona State came out strong in the second half as less than a minute in Courtney Wiencek to make it a 2-1 game. However, playing at home the Vikings wouldn't be denied. With just 20 minutes to play, Claire Dahm found Morgan Keirstead and from 18 yards out and she fired and scored. Before the final whistle blew, freshman phenom Alexis Legg added her team-leading 10th goal of the year.
Pushner was once again impressive, finishing with 10 saves. Playing in 18 games, she has allowed just 11 goals all year.
The Vikings now turn their attention to Minnesota State. The Vikings and Mavericks will start the NSIC semifinals on Friday at 11 a.m. Fans can watch live at GoAugie.com/live.