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Cougar women on both sides of 5-0 shut outs

The University of Minnesota, Morris women's soccer team shut out Crown College 5-0 on Friday, but the tables were turned Saturday when Northwestern shut out the Cougars by the same margin.

UM-Morris 5

Crown College 0

In St. Bonifacius against Crown College Friday, the Cougars scored five goals on nine shots en route to a 5-0 shutout of the Purple Storm.

Forward Amber O'Connor turned in a hat trick on the day, her second hat trick of the season. O'Connor is currently third in the conference in goals scored (9), and fifth in overall points (20).

"It was great to win, of course. But the most important part was that we came out like gangbusters," said head coach Dan Magner after the game.

O'Connor's first goal came within the first minute, unassisted. First-year forward Tayler Fairchild added a tally two minutes later on an assist from Nina Jarnot.

The Cougars rode this lead into the second half when O'Connor picked up her second goal in the 56th minute, assisted by Katie Kestner. She completed the hat trick 15 minutes later on a penalty kick. O'Connor now has nine goals on the season, leading the team.

First-year player Taylor Oistad finished the scoring in the 77th minute with an unassisted mark.

Equally impressive was the Cougars' backline of Rachel Harstad, Crystal Zastrow, Kali Cordes, Annie Hawkinson, and Chelsea Moody who limited Crown to just four shots and only one on goal.

Magner said the Cougars' offensive success was due to change of attitude.

"Getting off good shots is a mentality. You have to have the intention to score. We have a tendency to have the ball at our feet and go immediately toward the goal. Today, we didn't do that. We were patient and took good shots."

Northwestern 5

UM-Morris 0

The start of the Cougar women's soccer game against Northwestern was delayed by 20 minutes to remove snow and ice from the field. An unseasonable winter storm rolled through on Friday night, leaving the pitch nearly unplayable.

When it had been cleared, Northwestern prevailed over UMM 5-0 in a match that head coach Dan Magner described as "weird."

In the first half, UMM dominated play and possession and yet trailed 1-0 at halftime when Northwestern managed to score on its only shot of the half in the 32nd minute.

The Cougars came out of intermission with renewed enthusiasm, but another Northwestern goal, a fluky ricochet four minutes into the second half, punctured that charge.

And so it would be for the Cougars the rest of the game, according to Magner. The Cougars kept the ball in the Eagles' end of the field, only to have Northwestern score in counter-attack.

"We attacked their flanks all afternoon. We entered a lot of dangerous balls into the box area, but we just couldn't put them away. Unlucky," he said.

The Eagles, meanwhile, scored on five of seven shots on goal.

The loss drops the Cougars to 6-8 on the season. They host Martin Luther Friday and Bethany Lutheran Saturday at Cougar Soccer Field this weekend.