Heading to the Summit League Tournament

Marcus Traxler

Marcus TraxlerSportswriter

SDSU finishes off weekend wins with an 8-1 blasting of Centenary Oct. 31. Kayla Braffet, Kaitlin, Justive, Emily Quigley were part of the scoring for the Jacks.

The play of the SDSU Jackrabbit soccer team was a spooky start to the game on Halloween, but the Jacks quickly stifled any spells that Centenary had conjured together. SDSU fired up their offense, scoring a record-setting seven goals in the second half and rolled to an 8-1 victory over the Ladies on Senior Day at Fishback Soccer Park.

Sluggish play plagued the Jackrabbits early and Allie Cordes was able to capitalize for the Ladies when she looped a right-footed shot over the head of SDSU keeper Elisa Stamatakis in the 21st minute, giving Centenary the early 1-0 lead.

SDSU was able to show some life and evened the game when Darci Miller was taken down inside the box and Kelsey Ferguson won the guessing game on the penalty kick, shooting the ball past Ladies’ goalie Kalyn Harris in the 35th minute. The match went to halftime tied at 1-1.

“It’s just been a little bit of our season,” said SDSU head coach Lang Wedemeyer of the slow start. “We just sometimes come out unfocused and make the game a little harder on ourselves. [The girls] knew they had to focus at the beginning of the game and to their credit, they came back.”

“We tend to play down to other teams and I think we did that a little in the first half,” said SDSU midfielder Emily Quigley. “At halftime, we said “This is too close’ and we knew that we might not get into the tournament.

The Jacks came out of halftime with far more desire and it paid off early in the 48th minute when Courtney Higgins skied over the Centenary defense to head in a cross from Christa Nyblom, putting SDSU in front for the first time in the match, 2-1.

SDSU would not look back from there, scoring four goals in the next seven minutes. Kayla Braffet, Kaitlin Justice, Quigley and Danni Healy would all see their efforts find the back of the net. Before the Ladies realized what had happened, the match was well under control, with the Jackrabbits leading 6-1. The scoring run also ended the day of Harris, who was pulled after Healy’s goal in the 60th minute.

Abby Jurgens picked up her first career goal in the 82nd minute after Danielle Neuhalfen’s shot was stopped and bounced out to Jurgens for the goal. Neuhalfen would pick up a goal of her own when she drilled a free kick into the upper part of the net to cap the scoring at 8-1 in the 87th minute. The seven second-half goals is an SDSU record for goals in a half.

“It’s what we needed. We’ve been having some trouble scoring, so it’s definitely what we needed and I’m proud of the girls for getting it done,” Quigley said.

“To the girls’ credit, they really rose to the occasion in the second half and really played some good soccer,” Wedemeyer said.

The Jackrabbits outshot the Ladies 41-2 in the game, which ties an SDSU record for shots in a game.

Stamatakis played the first 60 minutes and picked up her 11th win of the season for the Jackrabbits. Kat Donovan closed out the final 30 minutes for SDSU and did not face a shot.

SDSU’s win left them tied with North Dakota State and Western Illinois at 6-2-1 in Summit League play. NDSU clinched the #2 seed because they defeated SDSU Oct. 23 and the Jackrabbits came away with the #3 seed because SDSU held the goal differential advantage over WIU in conference play. Oakland clinched the top seed by finishing the season undefeated at 8-0-1.

The Jacks will meet rival NDSU Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. at Fishback Soccer Park in the Summit League Championship semifinals, a matchup that certainly excites SDSU’s players.

“It’s NDSU, so of course we want to beat them, just because of that, but also we are pretty excited to see them again after the loss, and we’re ready,” said Quigley.

#1.1743523:1021498958.png:Tory Schiltgen 11-03-2010 12:Tory Schiltgen evades a Centenary defender Sunday at Fishback Soccer Park. Schiltgen and the Jacks won 8-1 and face NDSU in the first round of the Summit League tournament Saturday.:Collegian Photo