GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Sophomore striker Sami Feller (Grand Junction, Colo.) earned the third multi-goal game of her Pioneer career and freshman Sydney Sharp (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) scored the first two goals of her collegiate career to lead the University of Denver women’s soccer team to a 7-0 victory over North Dakota on Thursday afternoon at Bronson Field.
“The way I feel right now was not the way I felt after 10 minutes,” head coach Jeff Hooker said. “We were a little slow out of the gate, giving away three corners. The second goal really helped us calm down and sometimes once you get rolling, the ball just continues to find the back of the net like it did today. I’m very proud of the team and how we handled struggling early with their pressure and earned a great road result before we return home to close out the regular season.”
In addition to two goals from Feller and Sharp, the Pioneers got tallies from sophomore Natalie Beckman (Denver, Colo.), classmate Camryn MacMillan (Littleton, Colo.) and junior Macee Barlow (Las Vegas, Nev.). Senior midfielder Hannah Adler (Oak Park, Calif.) and redshirt-sophomore Malak Rafik (Parker, Colo.) each distributed a pair of assists, and Beckman added a helper as well.
Adler’s two assists moved her into 11th on Denver’s Division I career record book with 18. The Denver senior also moved into a tie for 10th on Denver’s DI career points list with current volunteer assistant coach Katie Hooker (Antongiovanni).
Denver’s seven goals tied for the third-most in a match in Denver’s Division I history, matching outputs in 2000 (Arkansas State), 2003 (Louisiana-Lafayette), 2006 (Arkansas State), 2007 (Troy) and 2011 (South Alabama). The Pioneers scored eight in a 2001 contest against Arkansas State and nine in a match against UALR in 2006. Thursday marked the most goals away from home in Denver’s Division I history.
The Pioneers scored five times in the second half on Thursday, tied for the second most goals in a half in Denver’s DI history behind only a six-goal output against Arkansas State in 2006.
Feller headed home a corner kick service from Adler to put the Pioneers ahead in the 27th minute. Adler played the set piece to the back post, and Feller was able to get to it first, a header that took a deflection off a North Dakota defender and into the roof of the net. Feller’s goal boosted Denver’s scoring margin in the first 30 minutes of matches to 208-81 since the start of the 2002 season, including 11-3 last season and 7-1 so far in 2019.
Beckman doubled Denver’s advantage in the 39th, converting her second penalty of the season for goal number four of the 2019 campaign for the Grandview H.S., product. Sharp turned her defender in the right side of the penalty area, and was tripped up in the box to draw the spot kick. Beckman’s goal was the sixth of her Pioneer career.
Feller made it 3-0 in the 53rd minute off the 13th assist of Beckman’s career. Beckman got Feller in behind the North Dakota defense, leaving Feller in 1v1 with the keeper before the sophomore calmly buried her shot into the back of the net. Feller’s goal was her fifth of the season and the 14th of her two-year Pioneer career.
MacMillan made it 4-0 in the 62nd minute, slotting home her fourth of the season from some well-executed build-up play down the Denver right. Junior Meg Halvorson (Englewood, Colo.) combined with Adler in the right channel. Adler played the cross into MacMillan, who used her body positioning to be able to take a couple touches and set up her shot into the bottom left corner to add to the visitor’s advantage. MacMillan has scored in four of Denver’s last seven matches.
Barlow got on the scoresheet in the 75th, after smashing her own rebound into the back of the net for her first goal of 2019 and the third of her Pioneer career.
Sharp bagged her first two collegiate goals in the 82nd and 85th minutes on nearly identical goals. Rafik setup both of Sharp’s goals, chipping the North Dakota back-four and sending Sharp in on goal to earn her first two career assists.