The Winona State University women's soccer team dominated possession and fired twice as many shots as Minot State University on Friday at Herb Parker Stadium.
None of that mattered, according to MSU coach Jason Spain. What did matter, though, was that MSU's back line failed to box out on a couple missed shots.
Winona scored twice on rebounds - including once when MSU sophomore goalie Gemma Biasetto whiffed on a slow-rolling ball - and the Warriors topped MSU 2-1 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference match.
Minot State University freshman Jayden Montejano dribbles by Winona State sophomore Devon Richards in a Northern Sun soccer match Friday at Herb Parker Stadium.
"They didn't do anything that we didn't want them to do," said Spain, whose team was outshot 18-9. "I thought we held them in check the whole game. They didn't get shots anywhere that were dangerous. We dropped two balls and then didn't backside mark. You gotta block out. Last year we boxed out and none of those went in."
Winona (3-2-1 overall, 2-2-0 NSIC) opened the scoring 16 minutes, 51 seconds in when Kati Baker hammered home a shot from point-blank range. Winona midfielder Alaina Kne played a low ball across the box, but Biasetto whiffed as she went to scoop the ball. The ball richoceted off the left post, and Baker was in position to capitalize.
The Beavers (1-3-2, 1-2-1) knotted the score with 18:04 left in the opening half when sophomore Kayla Schlittenhart rose above a crowd and buried a corner kick off the foot of junior forward Zoe Fisher.
But Winona scored with less than seven minutes remaining to break the tie. Warriors senior midfielder Morgan LeFebvre drilled a strike directly at Biasetto. The MSU goalkeeper batted the ball down but it settled directly in front of the net, where midfielder Samantha Fegen booted the game-winner.
"With this rain, the ground's slippery, hands are slippery," Winona coach Ali Omar said. "We want to follow everything and that's what we did today."
The Warriors dominated the ball throughout the game, connecting on short passes and showing deft touch dribbling through traffic. MSU struggled to maintain control on their offensive half, botching countless first touches and allowing Winona to regain possession.
The lack of consistent offense didn't bother Spain as much as the defensive lapses.
"This is a 1-0 (win) like last year if our back line boxes out," he said. "As simple as that."
The Beavers host Upper Iowa (5-2, 3-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Daniel Allar covers Minot State University athletics. Follow him on Twitter @DAllar_MDN.