Nine forwards on the field at a time? UND soccer to spice things up this season

UND players celebrate one of their nine exhibition goals this preseason at Bronson Field. Photo by Russ Hons/UND athletics.

Chris Logan started listing off his UND soccer roster with the defenders.

There's Karleen Yapello. She's a converted forward. There's Sarah Doran. She's a converted forward. There's Hannah Olson. She's a converted forward. There's Taylor Lange and Megan Dohmen, too. Both are converted forwards.

Then, Logan got to the midfielders.

He's got Olivia Knox, Ashley Ebeling, Mara Yapello, Lexi Miller, Hannah Mcara, Megan Wilson and Alyssa Sanchez. You guessed it. They're all converted forwards.

And up front, he'll have Mimi Eiden, Megan Wright, Emma Bangert and Bailey McNitt. All are, of course, forwards.


"We're a team of forwards," Logan said. "It's probably going to be stressful at times, but it's going to be pretty entertaining, too. We'll see how it goes."

Of UND's 10 starters to begin the season, nine of them are likely to be forwards or converted forwards playing different positions.

That's the formula Logan used during UND's pair of exhibition games earlier this month against the University of Manitoba and Viterbo. The Fighting Hawks outscored those teams 9-1. It's also the formula UND will likely use when it opens the regular season at 3 p.m. Friday against Montana at Bronson Field.

Part of lineup is by design.

Logan, entering his third season as head coach, is looking to raise the skill level on the team and make it more of an attacking squad. In the three seasons before his arrival, UND scored just 35 goals in 53 games in combining for a 7-41-5 record.

"When I first came here in 2017, I noticed the program struggled to score goals," Logan said. "We decided we were going to recruit very good attacking players who could play a multitude of positions. We'll be good attacking from back to front with plenty of attacking, dynamic players. We probably should have recruited extra defenders, but we did recruit one really good one. She might have to redshirt this year, though."

The new philosophy also comes in a year where UND has to replace Summit League Player of the Year Katie Moller, who graduated after scoring 25 of the team's 58 goals the last two seasons.

Instead of centering the offensive attack around one player, Logan plans for the offensive to be spread out this season.


That's what happened in the exhibition games, where eight different players scored UND's nine goals. Eiden was the only player to score more than once.

"Everyone knew they had to stop Katie," Logan said. "Now, there are five or six people they have to stop. We have a lot more options."

Logan said he always wanted to develop an attacking team, and he hopes this one will be that.

"We needed to find more explosive players who are really going to help our program," he said. "From there, we needed to find a system that suits them. Our practices have been very competitive. We're changing who is in our best lineups and our best second string. It's been fun to watch.

"This is definitely the most talented team we've had since I've been here. Will the inexperience cost us this year? Maybe we'll have some errors. I'm not sure. But the talent is definitely there. We knew we were going to be super young this year, but really talented. So far, we've been more attack-minded than I thought we would be, just because a lot of people look ready to play the style of soccer I thought we were a year away from playing."

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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