Aggie Soccer Team Shuts Out North Dakota 1-0

Crystal BurnsThe Aggie soccer team defeated North Dakota 1-0 on Friday night at Aggie Memorial Stadium to improve to 3-1-2 on the season.

"It's a good win. We got North Dakota's best effort," said Coach Needam. "I don't think we played our best game yet which is a little bit disappointing. Every game to this point we've taken a step forward, I don't think we took a step back but they're [North Dakota] a good attacking team and I don't think we did enough in the attacking third to put the game away when we could have."

The Aggies got an early goal from sophomore midfielder Crystal Burns in the 9th minute of the match as freshman Dani De La Vina had possession on the right side and found Burns wide open in the middle of the field from about 20 yards out. Burns fired the shot and it found the back of the net for Burns' first goal of the season. "Crystal scored a great goal and she's been needing that," said Coach Needham. "For her to get that one, it changed the way she played and she picked up her energy level. I thought she did really well."

Redshirt freshman goal keeper Mikaela Bitner and the Aggie defense withstood seven corner kicks by the Fighting Sioux and Bitner was credited with nine saves, four in the second half. North Dakota's best chance to score came in the 75th minute hit the post. "She made a couple big saves. It was funny, the first two saves she made in the first half weren't really saves because they called offsides, but those were two massive saves that she made," said Coach Needham. "She's doing a really good job. I'm happy with the way she's been playing and she absolutely deserves to get a shutout. She's worked hard."

The Aggies were outshot 13-11 in the game and UND had nine shots on goal compared to five for the Aggies.

With the victory the Aggies improve to 3-1-2 on the season while North Dakota falls to 0-5-0. The Aggies return to action next weekend when they host Alabama A&M on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and Lamar University on Sunday at noon.

"We need to do a better job in our ability to handle physical play. Right now we're kind of letting people push us around a bit and I don't think as the season goes on we're going to have the luxury of being able to do that," said Coach Needham. "We've got to go out and get back to basics and head the ball and win balls out of the air, winning second balls and doing the dirty work."