Soccer starts conference play with pair of shutouts

Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson

The Jackrabbits’ Danni Healy picked a great time to get her first goal of the season, as it was the deciding factor in a 1-0 victory over Centenary on Oct. 2.

The women’s soccer team earned the win in their Summit League opener in Shreveport, La. Healy’s shot found the net in the 70th minute of play.

“Danni has been working very hard in training, and it was nice to see that effort pay off,” SDSU head coach Lang Wedemeyer said. “Her goal came from Tory Schiltgen beating a couple of players and hitting a great shot that rung off the crossbar and Danni followed it up to knock it in.”

The Centenary ladies entered the match with an 8-1 record and fell to 8-2 after the defeat.

SDSU goalkeeper Dani Pappas got the shutout win with four saves in the first half. The Jacks held Centenary to one second-half shot.

In the victory, the Jacks out-shot Centenary 24-6 for the match.

Two days later, the Jackrabbits’ women’s soccer team defeated Oral Roberts 1-0 on a second-half goal from sophomore Kayla Braffet on Oct. 4 in Tulsa, Okla.

Braffet’s shot in the 49th minute of play came off an assist from Steph Peterson.

“We worked on set pieces in training last week, so it was good to see that pay off,” Wedemeyer said. “Steph Peterson hit a free kick from the right side of the field that was heading straight toward the ORU keeper. Kelsey Ferguson made a great play to challenge the ball and keep it alive so Kayla could come in and finish it off.”

A solid defensive effort by Pappas allowed the Jacks to hold Oral Roberts scoreless. Pappas blocked seven Oral Roberts shots and got her third shutout win this year.

The win improves the Jacks’ season record to 5-4-1 (2-0 Summit League). Oral Roberts fell to 3-7 overall (0-2 Summit).

Wedemeyer thinks that the non-conference schedule helped prepare the team for the conference schedule.

“We always try to play the best competition we can to prepare ourselves for the tough conference play,” Wedemeyer said. “But no matter who you play, you can never quite replicate the intensity of a Summit League game.”

Wedemeyer said that it was important to get off to a good start to the season especially on the road but stressed that the Jacks have to move forward and focus on their next opponent, Oakland.

SDSU’s Summit League home opener will take place when Oakland comes to Fishback Soccer Park on Oct. 9. For the second game of the weekend, the Jacks will play IPFW on Oct. 11, also at Fishback Soccer Park.

The Jacks will play Oakland for the first time since they defeated them in the Summit League Tournament last year.

“Oakland always does a great job of getting good results in the conference season,” Wedemeyer said. “We know that they will be geared up for our game since beating them in the tournament last year.”

The team’s preparation will have a lot to do with strengthening their mentality and preparing for a mentally tough game, the coach said.

Wedemeyer said that Oakland is a pretty talented team all over the field, including Sarah Lynch. On Oct. 2, Lynch hit a goal as the Grizzlies rolled UMKC for an 8-0 victory. Lynch scored another goal in the Grizzlies 4-2 loss to Southern Utah on Oct. 4.

As for IPFW, they got two good wins the past weekend and Wedemeyer expects them to come in with a lot of confidence. He said they will focus on IPFW after they have finished playing Oakland.

IPFW saw good performances from Lisa Underwood and Tara O’Toole. Underwood scored two goals in the Mastodons’ 2-1 win over Southern Utah on Oct. 2 while O’Toole hit a goal in the Mastodons’ 2-0 win over UMKC on Oct. 4.