All tied up: Battle of Huskies ends in overtime draw

David Archambeau/Daily Mining Gazette Michigan Tech’s Hannah Loughlin controls the ball near midfield while St. Cloud State’s Monica Majeski attempts to defend during a game Saturday at Sherman Field.

HOUGHTON — Rain hung heavy in the clouds above Sherman Field Saturday as two schools with Huskies for nicknames battled for 90 minutes on the soccer pitch. In what might seem like a fitting ending, Michigan Tech and St. Cloud State fought hard only to end up in a 2-2 draw that saw the hosts fight back from a 2-0 deficit.

Looking forward, Michigan Tech coach Michelle Jacob wants to come out ready to play that her squad can build leads instead of being forced to fight back in the second half.

“We came out slow.” said Jacob. “We didn’t come out very strong. We put ourselves back on our heels right away.

“I think the biggest thing is just showing up ready to play. From the get go, (we have to) make a stronger impact. We waited until midway through the second half. You can’t expect to win games (by) only playing half of them.”

St. Cloud was looking to bounce back after their 2-1 loss to Northern Michigan on Thursday while Michigan Tech was looking to continue their winning streak after a season-opening 2-0 victory over Minnesota-Duluth. It was St. Cloud who dictated the pacing of the game in the first half.

The visitors took an early 1-0 lead just 7:58 into play when Kass Maria found the net. She struck again at the 57:57 mark, giving St. Cloud a 2-0 lead, which should have been enough.

It was not.

Michigan Tech responded with just over a minute later when Sgambati, a freshman, scored her second goal of the season. Building off of the momentum of that tally, Michigan Tech kept pushing until they struck again less than 20 minutes later when Jesse Jacobusse found the net behind St. Cloud keeper Zoe Welsh at 77:59.

“‘It took a lot of courage and a lot of tenacity to come back from a 2-0 deficit,” said Jacob. “Being so close to scoring some goals is definitely heartbreaking. At least we put ourselves in the position to have some opportunities late in the game.”

Michigan Tech kept fighting into the two overtimes and fired four shots at Welsh, but could not find a way to get a third tally.

St. Cloud coach Gretta Arvesen knew getting off to a quick start against Michigan Tech was important, but while things did not go the way she wanted in the second half, she felt both teams showed flashes of what will make them competitive throughout their respective seasons.

“I think we’re both disciplined teams and we competed with energy,” said Arvesen. “Both of us capitalized on opportunities that we had. Both of us will continue to improve as we go on.

“I appreciated the competitiveness.”

Michigan Tech’s keeper, Amanda Young, was busier Saturday than she had been on Thursday, making six stops in earning the tie.

Michigan Tech will travel to face Bemidji State on Friday at 3 p.m.