Jacks blank IUPUI behind Stamatakis shutout

Marcus Traxler

Marcus Traxler

SDSU outlasted the Indiana University&-Purdue University Indianapolis Jaguars, 2-0, using an aggressive defensive effort and strong offense Friday at Fishback Soccer Park.

“IUPUI is a great team and we knew that anytime you play them, it’s going to be a tough game and it was nice to get a win tonight on our home field,” said SDSU head coach Lang Wedemeyer.

The early portion of the first half saw few scoring chances amongst the back and forth play between the Jaguars and Jackrabbits. In the 32nd minute, Kaitlin Justice controlled a long pass from Kayla Braffet – but her shot was blocked. Kelsey Ferguson was able to grab possession of the ball, outmaneuver IUPUI goalie Kristin Haseley and knock the ball into the open net, giving the Jacks a 1-0 lead.

Just eight minutes later, Justice fired a shot that struck the crossbar and bounced back in front of the goal. Chelsey Poole gathered the ball and fired it low and into the corner of the net. Poole’s goal put SDSU ahead 2-0, a score they would take to halftime.

“We were dangerous tonight on the attack and that’s something that we’ve been striving for and was good to see,” Wedemeyer said.

IUPUI could not generate enough momentum in the second half to threaten the Jacks’ lead. The Jaguars best chance for a goal came in the 65th minute on a free kick outside the box, but Natalie Holland’s shot sailed swiftly over the cross bar. SDSU continued to generate chances on offense but did not pad their advantage. The Jacks controlled the ball in the last ten minutes and completed the shutout.

“It was nice to come back at home but every team in the Summit League has the capability to beat any other team on any day, so we can’t take anyone for granted,” Wedemeyer said.

SDSU is now 7-1-0 when scoring the opening goal of the match and moved to 3-1-1 in Brookings this season. The Jackrabbits dropped last year’s Summit League Championship to the Jaguars, 4-1.

“That’s all I was thinking about all week,” said Ferguson. “I was just stoked for this game and every day, it was just “We’re gonna get “em’ and I was not gonna walk off this field with another loss.”

SDSU outshot IUPUI 16-6 and put more shots on goal than the Jaguars, 8-2. The Jacks also dominated the corner kicks, 8-2. Elisa Stamatakis – the Summit League Women’s Athlete of the Month for September – made two saves to up her record to 7-1-2 Stamatakis now has six shutouts as SDSU goalie on the season.

The Jackrabbits (7-2-3 overall, 2-1 in the Summit) host Western Illinois on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Fishback Soccer Park. Ferguson noted that the Jacks would have to be ready for the Leathernecks to come to town.

“We have to relax, get out fresh again and have fun. We had a lot of fun today and I think it showed.”