Panthers fall to South Dakota State, St. Thomas



Macy Smith (22) brings the ball up the field. UNI will be back in action on Sunday when they host Iowa.

Adam Johnson, Sports Writer

The UNI soccer team was riding high going into a match against South Dakota State last Thursday, Sept. 1. They came into the match with a record of 3-0-1, not having a loss up to that point in the young season. Unfortunately, their solid start to the season was halted by the Jackrabbits, who shut them down with a score of 3-0.

South Dakota State would get the match going relatively early, when on a pass by Maya Hansen, Cece Limongi put one by UNI goalkeeper Caitlin Richards around the 12 minute mark. Not long after this the Panthers got two shots on goal, but were not able to get either one past South Dakota State goalkeeper Hailee Fischer. The rest of the first period was relatively quiet, with only one other shot making it to the goalkeeper, when Richards made a save at about the 35 minute mark. The Jackrabbits went into the half up 1-0.

Unfortunately for UNI, the Jackrabbits came out ready to go following the half, scoring two goals within the first 10 minutes of the period. Limongi put one in for her second goal of the day on an assist from Reagan Anderson, and this was quickly followed by a goal from Hansen, who was assisted by Kaycee Manding. Both goals came within the first 10 minutes of the period.

Being behind 3-0 made it difficult for the Panthers to make any sort of a comeback. The rest of the period the Panthers had a few chances, but were not able to come away with a goal. The final in this one would end up 3-0, with the Jackrabbits coming out on top.

Following the loss, the Panthers looked to bounce back on Monday, Sept. 6, as they were up against St. Thomas for Senior Day. Unfortunately for UNI, this one had a similar script as the game against South Dakota State.

The match started off relatively slowly, as there was not much action at either goal in the early going. That ended at the 27 minute mark when Alex Balfour scored on an assist from Mariah Nguyen to put St. Thomas ahead 1-0. There was only one more shot on goal from each team the rest of the period, and St. Thomas would be ahead 1-0 going into the half.

St. Thomas started out the second period quickly, when just five minutes in, Abby Brantner scored on a pass from Annika Eckroth. UNI would struggle to get any good looks, as they had a few shots that made it to St. Thomas goalkeeper Annie Bantner, but could not get any of them past her. She ended the day with five saves. St. Thomas would put another score on the board later in the game, when Lexi Hubor scored on an assist from Jasmine Gates, and the final in this one was 3-0.

It was a couple of tough losses for the Panthers, but they will look to get back in the win column when they go up against Iowa at home on Sunday, Sept. 11.