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Mikayla Hernandez scored a hat trick, but the Black Hills State University women's soccer team fell to the University of Mary 5-3, on Thursday afternoon in Billings, Montana.

"We definietely tried to create more offense this game, which was positive," said Hernandez. "It's all about effort, so we can fix that. We need to keep giving effort and moving forward. We'll be fine."

Mary (1-0) was in control in the first half, going up 3-0, and leading 11-1 in shots.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, the Marauders led BHSU (0-4), 4-0.  Hernandez received the ball from Rose Miller outside of the box on the left side. She let it fly, with the ball hitting the upper net just over the fingers of the goalie. The goal was the first of the season for BHSU and Hernandez, and also the first of the sophomore's career.

Mary responded with a goal of its own in the 65th minute, but the Yellow Jackets, and Hernandez got on the board again in the 73rd minute. Three minutes later, Hernandez completed her hattrick, this time scoring from a free kick at the top of the box, and bringing BHSU within two, 5-3. Mary was able to stave off the Yellow Jackets in the final 15 minutes.

BHSU is remains in Billings to take on Montana State University Billings on Saturday, beginning at 3 p.m.

Nardi returns to the Rush

The Rapid City Rush announced Thursday that rookie forward Mitch Nardi has returned for the upcoming 2018-19 ECHL season.

Nardi came to the Rush last year after the conclusion of his Canadian college hockey career at Brock University. The 6-foot, 190-pound forward played in the final five games of the regular season with the Rush, notching his first professional point, an assist at Quad City on April 4 in the last week of the year.

 “I came in and played the remaining five games of the season, and even though we weren’t going to the playoffs, I had an absolute blast. The team was great, the city was awesome, the fans were great, and I loved working with Coach Tetrault. I’m very excited for my first full year with the Rush,” Nardi said.

 Rush coach Daniel Tetrault said that nardi worked hard for the Rush despite his short stint with the club.

 “Mitch understands that, whether it’s practice or a game, you need to bring the same intensity; he did all the little things right in both scenarios. His hard work paid off especially in the corners, where he was able to show off how hard he forechecks, how responsibly he backchecks, and how physical he can be in puck retrieval," he said.

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