On Monday, the Blue Knights of Dakota County Technical College defeated St. Olaf 3-1 in a road match, lifting their record to 6-1 on the season. On Tuesday, the college’s first women’s soccer team learned it retained its spot at #15 in the national NJCAA Division I poll for a second-consecutive week.
The Blue Knights will put this national ranking to the test when they travel to Iowa this weekend for games at North Iowa Community College (Mason City) and Iowa Central Community College (Fort Dodge). Iowa Central will be looking for revenge following DCTC’s 3-2 home win over the visiting Tritons earlier in the season knocked them out of the #9 spot nationally.
The 3-1 win on Monday came with some hard work and the strength of DCTC’s depth as three reserves were pressed into action. Rachel Jones (possible leg stress fracture), Caitlyn Kasper (lower back sprain) and Heidi Timm all missed regular starts, while Amanda Bill and Kendahl Link earned their first starts of the season.
In the first half, the Blue Knights failed to take advantage of 13 first half shots and found themselves down a goal and a sweeper as Rita Rosner was taken to the training room for a medical evaluation after being struck in the upper back early in the match. The depleted Knights rebounded well with Julie Steber seeing her first minutes at defensive sweeper.
The second half was a different story as DCTC came alive. Sheena Lien tied the game two minutes in by putting away a penalty kick. The penalty kick foul was awarded in the 48th minute after Rebecca Noonan raced into the penalty area and was taken down by a St. Olaf pursuer.
Noonan soon scored her own goal (51st minute of play) after replicating her previous run and finding herself alone to shoot the ball into the upper corner. Rosner was then cleared to return to the game and filled in on the left flank, making an immediate impact as she streaked down the left side of the field to get a shot on goal. The shot, bobbled by the Ole keeper, was then kicked in by Vanessa Schulte in the 74th minute.
Other standouts for DCTC included Mandy Stockton (5-1-0), who made 13 saves on the day to earn her fifth win of the year. Noonan currently ranks 39th in the nation in scoring with eight goals and two assists (18 points), while Stockton remains on the national goalkeeping list ranking 29th in goals against average (1.333). DCTC is one of 155 teams that play in the NJCAA soccer division (with about 3,000 players).
Monday’s victory at St. Olaf was the first of six games the Blue Knights will play against NCAA JV squads. Following these, the remaining six on the regular season schedule pit the team against NJCAA regional opponents.