Jacks topple Big XII Iowa State after late change of venue

Marcus Traxler

Marcus TraxlerSportswriter

Last week, many obstacles mounted in front of the SDSU women’s soccer team.

Their game against USD was canceled. Friday night’s game was moved to Sioux Falls.

Not to mention their opponent was the talented Iowa State squad of the Big 12 conference.

The Cyclones pressured SDSU all night, but the Jackrabbits used sturdy defense and timely scoring to knock off ISU, 2-1, at the Sanford Health Sports Complex.

After a lull in action to start the game, Iowa State got a great shot from Mary Kate McLaughlin that hit the crossbar in the 32nd minute, leaving the game a scoreless tie.

Just five minutes later – after a Cyclone foul inside the box – Kelsey Ferguson converted a penalty kick for the Jacks. She slid the ball past Cyclone keeper Maddie Jobe’s left side.

Christa Nyblom took a corner kick for SDSU in the 55th minute that was knocked down by the ISU defense, leaving Kayla Braffet open to knock in for a two-goal lead.

“It was nice to see some finishing and to create a penalty kick, something we haven’t done in a year and a half,” said SDSU head coach Lang Wedemeyer. “I don’t think we were overly composed on the attack but we did make the most of our chances.”

Iowa State proved to be a tough team for the Jacks to put away. The quality of scoring chances for the Cyclones improved as the second half wore on. The Cyclones capitalized on one such chance in the 67th minute, after Megan Long headed in a corner kick pass from Emily Goldstein, cutting the SDSU lead to 2-1.

The Cyclones chances continued to pile, but the SDSU defense, led by the solid play of keeper Elisa Stamatakis, kept the ISU attack at bay. Iowa State’s last chance, a Susie Potterveld shot went wide of net, preserving the win.

“We definitely knew it was going to be a harder team and I think we were mentally and physically ready for their tough play,” said Braffet, who earned Summit League Player of the Week honors for her performance against Iowa State. “It’s fun to play that way, you get a little bit more into it and the game is more fun to watch and play.”

Stamatakis, who made four saves, improved her record to 5-0-2 in the Jacks victory. SDSU is now 3-2-2 all-time against opponents from the Big 12 conference and 2-1-1 all-time against the Cyclones.

“We had talked about how we wanted to make a statement and this was definitely the team to make a statement against and I think we’re very proud of ourselves,” Ferguson said.

“Once we had to cancel a game and then change venues, it’s hard on the players, there’s no doubt about it,” said Wedemeyer. “One thing that was positive is that we got that little bit of rest … if we would have had that game on Wednesday [USD], it would have been a lot harder to play Iowa State tonight.”

“I think we were a little bit lucky to tell you the truth. We made it difficult on ourselves and gave them some opportunities there tonight and honestly, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good,” Wedemeyer said.

#1.1655812:3533057623.jpg:Kayla Braffet tallied a goal in the 55th minute of SDSU?s soccer match against Iowa State Sept. 24.:Kayla Braffet tallied a goal in the 55th minute of SDSU?s soccer match against Iowa State Sept. 24.:Collegian Photo by Ethan Swanson#1.1655820:2359358626.jpg:Members of the Jackrabbits soccer team celebrate a win at Fishback Soccer Park earlier this year.:Members of the Jackrabbits soccer team celebrate a win at Fishback Soccer Park earlier this year. The Jacks are 6-1-3 entering conference play, slated to begin Oct. 1 against IPFW.:Collegian Photo by Ethan Swanson