At 5-foot-11, Jamie Council is hard to match on the soccer field.
The Minot State University junior was unmarkable in the Beavers' 2-0 Homecoming win over the University of Sioux Falls on Saturday at Herb Parker Stadium.
In a game that saw the host team win nearly every ball through the air and on the turf, Council's first-half goal was indicative of how much more physical MSU was compared to the Cougars.
Minot State University junior Jamie Council follows through on a shot against the University of Sioux Falls on Saturday at Herb Parker Stadium.
The dominant performance marked the Beavers' first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference win.
"That's one of the things that (coach) Jason (Spain) stresses is just be a big, physical team in shape," Council said. "Pressure them because if they don't have the ball they can't score."
Council's goal came in the 24th minute when sophomore Zoe Fisher placed a stellar corner kick just outside the USF six-yard box. No Cougar defender was able to rise as high as Council, who headed the ball just under the crossbar and over the hands of USF junior goalkeeper Samantha Maybon.
"(Council's) been devastating on corners both years," Spain said. "That's so nice to be able to have someone dangerous on free kicks. She's pretty good at taking them too."
Junior Emilie Rebelo scored the second goal on a penalty kick in the 38th minute. USF (0-5 overall, 0-2 conference) was called for just five fouls compared to nine for MSU (3-1-1, 1-1), but the takedown in the box was costly as Rebelo comfortably buried the shot in the lower right side of the net.
Council got her head on another corner kick late in the half and was close to her second goal of the game and third of the year with a header, which sailed just wide in the second half.
"We're just getting better," Council said. "We're practicing serving the balls in, so it's not that they're finding me it's that they know where - we practice where to serve the ball and then on my end we practice where to run. So it could have been anybody."
The Beavers had 16 shots on goal compared to just three for the Cougars.
MSU senior goalkeeper Marie Torres - last week's NSIC defensive player of the week - made two saves before being replaced 20 minutes into the second half by senior Ashley Barczewski, who finished with one save. The Beavers haven't been scored on in nearly 290 minutes of play.
Barczewski preserved the shutout, stoning USF's lone legitimate scoring opportunity in the 87th minute. Danielle Dement's low shot from inside the 18-yard box was stopped by a diving Barczewski.
"We knew they were going to be physical," USF coach Mekonnen Afa said. "We played them last year a couple of times and we know that they're very physical and want to get to the ball, they want to get to the 50/50 balls. They work hard and at all points whether it's the starting 11 or their next 11 that come in."
Spain plans to use his entire roster in most games and played 24 women against the Cougars.
MSU freshman forward Gemma Biasetto received a yellow card in the second half following a collision with Maybon. The USF goalkeeper had little help defensively and took the brunt of a couple collisions in each half.
"We're gonna bring it every play," Spain said. "I mean, we're not dirty. We come in hard."
The Beavers host NSIC foe Southwest Minnesota State at 1 p.m. this afternoon.
NOTE: MSU beat NSIC opponent Minnesota State-Moorhead in the season opener, but the game didn't count toward the conference standings.