WATERLOO — It was almost like a scene from Groundhog Day Sunday at the Cedar Valley Soccer Complex.
Northern Iowa and North Dakota squared off in a non-conference matchup and, as they did last season, battled to a 1-1 draw. And the Panthers saw a shadow of sorts stalking the opposing sideline in the form of Chris Logan, who left UNI after last season to take over the Fighting Hawks.
“It felt special coming back here and seeing all the people I knew from this team,” Logan said. “There were great memories with the girls here and seeing them come up to me with smiles just let a lot of the emotions run.”
The Panthers (7-1-1) struck first when Sarah Brandt converted the rebound of a Jamie Althiser shot.
“I felt like we took control at that point and our confidence was really high,” Brandt said. “It got our energy level running pretty high and we felt good about our chances.”
UNI couldn’t add to that goal, however, despite plenty of chances.
“You look at the scoreboard and we outshot them (22-8) and I thought we outplayed them, as well,” said Brandt. “We just could not get the ball back in the net and that was what was really frustrating.
“We wanted to win this one, especially with Coach Logan on the other side, but now we just have to concentrate on opening our conference schedule coming up.”
New UNI coach Bruce Erickson didn’t feel like he saw his team’s best effort Sunday.
“I felt like they weren’t necessarily ready to play today,” said Erickson. “I think the emotion was pretty high on their end and we had to hang on for dear life there at the end.”
The Hawks tied the game one minute into the second half. From that point on and through both overtimes, Reichenberger and North Dakota goalkeeper Catherine Klein (11 saves) rose to every challenge.
“We wanted to get good results from this day and I don’t know if we really did,” Erickson said. “It is done and I have already forgotten about this game, and I told our girls to do the same. We need to play much better and get ourselves ready for the conference play.”
The Panthers open Missouri Valley play next Saturday when they host Illinois State.
DRAKE INVITATIONAL: UNI got a pair of consolation championships as the Panthers wrapped up play Sunday at the Drake Invitational.
Reghan Lynch won the A Flight consolation bracket while Kate Merrich took the C Flight consolation bracket. Valentina Caro was defeated in the D Flight championship.