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Jeff Kolpack, Published August 20 2010

College soccer: Bison vs. Sioux excites Ryans

It’s been awhile since a North Dakota State soccer player had this dilemma: parents, aunts, uncles or cousins went to the University of North Dakota while the player is at NDSU.

But that’s what Bison senior Quin Ryan faces today when NDSU hosts the University of North Dakota at the Ellig Sports Complex. She’s had to sway her family to the green and yellow side.

“I’m one of two that went to NDSU so I realize it’s a big deal and everyone in the family is pushing that way,” she said. “I haven’t gotten to play them since I’ve been here so it’s exciting.”

It’s yet another step in the two schools getting back to playing each other in more sports. The last soccer meeting was 2003.

“It’s UND and we’re excited about that,” said Ryan, a Moorhead High graduate. “It’s a longtime rivalry that is starting to get going again and it will be a good first game.”

It’s the season opener for both. NDSU shared a Summit League title a year ago while the Sioux struggled at 3-14-2. Still, as that old rivalry saying goes, you can throw the records out the window.

Bison head coach Pete Cuadrado said he’s done more radio interviews in the past week then he’s probably done in his NDSU career. The rival the past few years for the Bison has been more the likes of Minnesota, Creighton University (Neb.) and South Dakota State.

“Mainly those three,” said NDSU senior Candice D’Arcangeli, “so maybe starting another one wouldn’t be a bad idea.”

UND won the last three meetings before the schools split divisions – NDSU to Division I and UND remaining in Division II. UND head coach Kristen Gay said she hasn’t addressed the series too much to her team, although she also said there’s no hiding it with the upperclassmen.

“We’re not playing it up too much,” Gay said. “We’re going into it like it’s another game but it’s definitely something in the back of our minds a bit.”

The Bison return 10 starters and 16 players overall from last year. For the past few years a young team, that’s not the case anymore.

“It’s been great to come out here during preseason and have 90 percent of our team on the same page,” Ryan said. “We have a really good veteran squad and I think that’s evident when you watch us play that we all kind of know what we’re doing.”

Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the WDAY Golf Show, 10-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia