ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Waldorf University women's soccer team showed a lot of resolve in the second half, with its constant perseverance and determination almost forcing overtime before the Warriors fell 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Presentation College.
The Warriors (1-14 overall, 0-1 NSAA) lost its first North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) conference game of the 2017 regular season by the slimmest of margins.
Down 2-1 late in the second half, Waldorf sophomore midfielder Cassidy Pino's shot hit the post with just 21 seconds left in the game. The sophomore's shot ricocheted out of bounds, and the Saints (4-10, 1-0) ran out the clock to hold on for the 2-1 victory.
"We didn't get the outcome we had hoped for, but I saw a whole different team today," Waldorf assistant coach Camila Ardila said. "The girls came out in Saturday's game with a lot of energy."
Waldorf was just inches away from forcing its third overtime match of the season, and the Warriors gave Presentation everything it could handle in the match's second session. Waldorf posted 12 of its 15 total shots in the second half, with seven of those shots being on goal.
After trailing 2-0 and being outshot 5-3 going into halftime, the Warriors rebounded by coming out of the locker room very strong and outshooting the Saints, 12-6, in the second half. The Warriors outshot the Saints 15-11 with a very impressive effort to begin conference play.
"We created a lot of scoring opportunities, which is what we would like to see," added Ardila. "The girls dominated the entire second half, with much of the half being played in our attacking third."
The Warriors found a great rhythm on offense in the second half, with almost everybody getting into the action by getting shots on net. One of those players was sophomore defender Miahra Treleaven, who scored the lone Warriors goal of the afternoon.
Treleaven started in the second half and made the most of her playing time by knocking the soccer ball past Saints goalkeeper Kaitlin Nallin in the 56th minute to cut the Saints' lead to 2-1.
Waldorf's leading goal-scorer, Amairani Zuniga (2), was a menace all day on the offensive end as the sophomore forward from Santa Maria, Calif., registered four shots on goal on five total shots. The other Warriors players to register at least two shots were Pino (3) and Kaitlyne Fernandez (2).
Not only did the Warriors do their job very effectively on offensive end in the second half, but they also had players who contributed on both ends of the pitch.
Kiarra Houston posted a shot on goal in the 83rd minute, but her biggest play of the match came in the 89th minute as the sophomore from Sacramento, Calif., ensured that a Presentation shot wouldn't cross the goal-line. Her fearless blocked shot allowed the Warriors to quickly get into their transition offense.
Waldorf finished with a .600 (9-15) shot-on-goal percentage against Presentation, whereas the Saints posted a .545 (6-11) shot-on-goal percentage.
Presentation's Sarah Hamlin, who finished the game with a goal and an assist, scored the game-winning goal in the 20th minute.
Waldorf goalkeeper Hanna DeVries played very well in the 2-1 defeat as the Albert Lea, Minn., product shut the door in the second half and completed the match with a .667 (4-6) save percentage.
The Warriors will look to continue to get great play from their starting goalkeeper and cash in on their barrage of shots when they host the University of Jamestown in another NSAA conference matchup on Oct. 21 at Forest City High School for Homecoming.