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Penalty kick the difference in 2-1 loss at North Dakota

Published: September 18, 2011
The Montana soccer teamed opened the scoring, but North Dakota followed with a pair of unanswered goals in the Fighting Sioux’s 2-1 victory over the Grizzlies Sunday afternoon at Grand Forks, N.D. Freshman Paytyn Wheeler scored her first collegiate goal for Montana, which lost its fifth straight match to drop to 3-5-0 on the season. North Dakota improved to 3-5-1 and defeated Montana for the first time in four meetings between the teams. For the first time since the second match of the season, the Grizzlies got on the scoreboard first in a match. Sophomore India Watne played the ball up the right side of Bronson Field, cut back and played a ball toward goal with her left foot. Wheeler collected Watne’s pass and beat UND keeper Alex Ciaccio at 28:17, becoming Montana’s sixth different player this season to score a goal. The assist was Watne’s team-leading sixth of the season. The goal gave Montana its first lead in a match since Sept. 2. The lead would last less than 12 minutes. Francie Piche scored her first goal of the season at 40:04 when Montana’s defenders could not handle a ball that took a bad hop off the bumpy Bronson Field turf. The match remained deadlocked until redshirt freshman Ashley Robertson was called for a penalty inside the box, and Rhaya Ballon converted the penalty kick at 70:54, beating Montana keeper Kristen Hoon for her team-leading fourth goal of the season. The Grizzlies got off five shots and created a corner kick opportunity in the final 12 minutes, but they could not find the equalizer. “I was proud of the team today and the way we fought. I thought we bounced back well from our performance (in Friday’s 3-0 loss at North Dakota State),” UM coach Mark Plakorus said. “We played hard, moved the ball well and created opportunities. Unfortunately the game does not always go your way.” Montana was credited with 18 shots, eight of which were on goal. Junior Erin Craig took six shots in 67 minutes. Her best chance at scoring came in the 63rd minute when her fourth shot of the match deflected off the left post. Watne took four shots, putting two on goal. North Dakota took 19 shots, 10 on goal. Hoon (2-3-0) made eight saves, a career high. Both teams had seven corner kicks. Montana continues its travel-heavy, early-season schedule this week with matches Thursday and Saturday at Southern Utah and Utah Valley. Montana and Utah Valley met last Sunday in Missoula. The Wolverines scored with nine seconds remaining in their 2-1 victory.
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