Thunder Finish Season with Highest-Ever Record
Despite a loss to Duluth on Friday, the Thunder finished their season 3-6-5, putting 14 points on the conference table to secure a 5th-place finish. This beats the previous record of 13 points (4-9-1) and ties the 5th place finish from 2019. The Thunder currently sit at 58th out of 92 teams in the overall NPSL standings, beating out their 61st position from 2021. Additionally, the Thunder had their highest ever goals for, with 27 goals scored on the season.
The last game did not finish without a fight against Duluth. In the away match, the Thunder would hold Duluth scoreless at the half, both teams locked in possessive play. Duluth would put the first tally on the board with a breakaway in the 56th minute, chipping a shot over Thunder keeper Mitchell Dryden. Duluth would be aided by the referee for a second goal a few minutes later thanks to a whistle in the penalty box. One more goal for Duluth would come in the 76th minute as a long ball turned into a foot race against the Thunder defense. A poor shot and a lucky rebound put Duluth up three goals.
The Thunder would mount their comeback almost immediately. James Bolger would score in the 79th minute, thanks to a sharp endline attack by Eric Beltran and Tyler Limmer. Beltran would then take a corner kick in the 84th minute, and once Limmer played in the cleared ball again, Bolger would head the ball to Ethan Glissendorf, putting the ball past an out-of-position keeper to make it 2-3 for the Thunder. Sioux Falls would pressure Duluth for the remaining few minutes, but Duluth clung to their fragile lead to the final whistle.