WOMEN’S SOCCER: Mustangs top USF 3-1, to go 3-0 on trip

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. The Southwest Minnesota State women’s soccer team opened its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season Wednesday with a 3-1 victory over the University of Sioux Falls.

The victory pushes SMSU’s record to 3-0 overall, 1-0 NSIC, and matches last season’s team for the best start to a season in school history.

Autumn Hayes led SMSU by snapping a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 80th minute and, then, added a goal off a penalty kick in the 90th minute to secure the victory. It was Hayes’ second career two-goal game.

Kendahl Fisher netted her second goal of the season to give SMSU a 1-0 early in the second half, before USF (0-3, 0-1 NSIC) answered with a goal in the 57th minute.

“I think we showed poise and we showed that we can handle teams that frustrate us,” Mustangs head coach T.J. Buchholz said. “We took a 1-0 lead early in the second half before Sioux Falls got that goal back quickly. But we were able to finish it off with a couple of late goals for the league victory.”

SMSU dominated the contest, unleashing 22 shots, including 11 on goal. Hayes and Fisher each had four shots on goal, while Miranda Cadena had a pair of shots on goal.

“This was a frustrating game because we had many good looks and shots on-goal that didn’t go in,” Buchholz said. “Sioux Falls was playing a risky defense after we took the lead and it created four 1-on-1 situations that their goalie made four unbelieveable saves.”

Brienna Dehkes picked up the victory in goal for SMSU making a pair of saves.

Southwest Minnesota State returns to action Friday to face Lindenwood University, Mo., (2-1) for a non-conference game set for 3 p.m. at the Schwan Regional Event Center.

“We’re happy to be home after winning three times during a tough stretch of road games,”?said Buchholz after SMSU posted wins at Fort Hays State, Kan., at Nebraska-Kearney and at Sioux Falls to start the 2013 season. “We will be playing our fourth game in seven days against Lindewood on Friday. Our scorers have stepped up and it would be nice to keep that rolling.”