A weekend trip to North Dakota proved unkind for the Southwest Minnesota State soccer team, as the Mustangs suffered their first two losses of the season.
The Mustangs lost 3-2 to the University of Mary Saturday in Bismarck, then fell to Minot State 2-1 Sunday afternoon in Minot.
SMSU fell behind in the first half of both games. Saturday, the Mustangs dug themselves a big hole early when they surrendered two goals to Mary's Michelle Jones in the first six minutes of action. Mary added a third first-half goal when Alex Williams-Buchman scored past SMSU?goalkeeper Sonya Smith on a penalty kick in the 28th minute.
After tallying just two shots in the first half, the Mustangs rallied with seven shots in the second half to try to work their way back. Kendahl Fischer got SMSU off to a strong start in the second half with a goal in the first five minutes when she broke away from the defense and beat Mary goalkeeper Ashley Akers.
Fischer struck again in the 63rd minute when she received a pass from Danica Caudillo and buried a shot in the upper right corner of the net. The Mustangs, however, were unable to find the equalizer in the final 27 minutes.
Fischer's goals were her third and fourth of the season.
SMSU found itself staring at another multi-goal deficit Sunday in Minot. The Beavers opened the scoring in the 29th minute when Emilie Rebelo scored on a penalty kick.
After getting off five shots in the first half, the Beavers turned up the heat in the second half with nine shots and broke through again when Jamie MacFarlane scored her first goal of the season in the 72nd minute.
Autumn Hayes scored SMSU's lone goal in the 75th minute on a penalty shot.
The Mustangs were limited to four shots in the first half and four more in the second half.
Minot State improved to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference following the victory. The Mustangs dropped to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in conference action.
SMSU continues its four-game road trip next weekend when the Mustangs travel to play Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday and St. Cloud State on Sunday. Both matches are scheduled to start at 1 p.m.