The University of Minnesota Morris women’s soccer team struggled through the early stages of its match on Monday night with Bethany Lutheran College and the Vikings were quick to take advantage. Two pairs of goals within three minutes of each other in the first 24 minutes gave BLC an insurmountable advantage and the Vikings added another just before halftime to claim a 5-0 win over the Cougars. The loss puts Minnesota Morris at 6-11-0 (6-6-0 UMAC) on the season and locks the Cougars into the No. 4 seed in the upcoming UMAC Tournament.
For more than 10 minutes, neither team mustered much offensively but Bethany Lutheran changed that in the 12th minute as a goal kick by Zoe Kinakin was headed backwards towards the UMN Morris goal. From there, Lexi Kaufman outraced the Minnesota Morris defense and then hit a shot over the head of Bernadette Cienik from the edge of the 18-yard box to take a 1-0 lead.
Bethany Lutheran doubled its margin in the 15th minute as Madison Sax had her initial shot saved by Cienik, only for the ball to trickle into her path for a second try which she buried to make it 2-0.
It was another second opportunity that gave the Vikings a 3-0 edge in the 21st minute as Maddie Perry had a shot stopped by Cienik as she raced out to meet the Bethany Lutheran forward, however the ball once again rebounded right to Perry and she finished with Cienik out of position and no defender back. Asia Jota then got in on the action with a goal from the right wing in the 24th minute. The scoring was closed out by Kaufman in the 44th minute as Juana Quevedo played a well-weighted ball over the top to free her for a run in on goal.
Minnesota Morris came out with much more energy in the second half and took the match to the Vikings for portions of the second half, however neither team was able to find the back of the net the rest of the way.
Cienik ended with eight saves on the night. Monica Calderon led Minnesota Morris with four shots on the night (two on goal).
The Cougars return to Cougar Field on Friday to host UW-Superior at 1 p.m.