Jacks down IUPUI and Western Illinois, road-winning streak at four

Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson

The women’s soccer team got back to its winning ways on Oct. 16 in Macomb, Ill., defeating Western Illinois 2-1 behind a game-winning goal from Courtney Higgins.

Higgins, a freshman, connected on her first career goal in the 70th minute.

“We had created some pretty good attacks throughout the second half and got a free kick on the left side of the box,” SDSU coach Lang Wedemeyer said. “Christa Nyblom sent in a great free kick that Stephanie Berube flicked on, and Courtney crashed into a big pile in the middle of the box to pound it home. It was nice to see her hard work pay off with the winning goal.”

The Jacks found themselves in an aggressive match that featured 25 fouls and six yellow cards, four for the Leathernecks and two for SDSU.

“It was a pretty aggressive game,” Wedemeyer said. “I am not sure if all those cards were necessary from the referee, but once he started showing them, they just kept coming.”

Kayla Braffet added her team-leading fifth goal of the season to put the Jacks up 1-0 in the 19th minute until Jennifer Green connected on a free kick for the Leathernecks to tie the game at 1-1.

Brie Rogers started in the net for the Jacks and made three saves out of four.

In the second game of the weekend on Oct. 18 against IUPUI, the Jacks found themselves in another close game. The Jacks overcame a red card to starting goalie Brie Rogers that left them down a player.

Kaitlin Justice hit the game-winner in the 90th minute in Indianapolis, Ind., at Kuntz Stadium to give SDSU a 1-0 lead and another weekend road sweep on the season.

“I definitely think we had been missing that little bit of luck necessary to get wins last weekend, so it was nice to be on the other side of that on Sunday,” Wedemeyer said. “KJ (Justice) put herself into the right place at the right time and volleyed home a great shot to win it for us.”

At the 65:09 mark, Rogers received a red card for a foul and left the Jacks down a player. Rogers made four saves before being replaced by Dani Pappas, who made one save.

“The field was pretty muddy, and she slipped coming out for a ball that she could have easily won,” Wedemeyer said. “Unfortunately, with the slip, the IUPUI attacker got there first and Brie made what proved to be a game-changing play by fouling the player before she could score. Dani rose to the occasion. She is seemingly her best in those moments when she is called into action and helped us get the win by keeping them off the board.”

The win moved SDSU to a 7-6-2 overall record (4-2 Summit League). The loss also ended a 12-match win streak for IUPUI, who had not lost since a 1-0 defeat by Valparaiso on Aug. 30.

For the Jacks, it seemed as though the ball finally bounced their way after two recent double overtime losses against Oakland and IPFW.

“Last weekend’s home losses were really tough on everyone, but we knew we had been the better team in both games,” Wedemeyer said. “So, going on another long road trip and getting two quality results was huge for our confidence. We dealt with some adversity through the games and came out on top.”

Up next for the Jacks is a two-game home stand against UMKC on Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. and Southern Utah at 1 p.m. on Oct. 25.

UMKC features a tough defensive team that will try to counterattack.

“The great and scary thing about our conference is that you can’t take anyone for granted,” Wedemeyer said. “Every team has shown that they can beat almost any other on a given day. We’ll build on the momentum from this past weekend and continue to focus on our attack through the week.”

Southern Utah, on the other hand, comes to SDSU with a current 1-3-1 Summit League record.

“Well, we have to first get a good result against UMKC and build on our confidence, then we’ll focus on SUU,” Wedemeyer said. “They have shown that they can be a very tough team at times. We just have to play our game and focus on the little things that win games.”

#1.881337:4096187608.jpg:Soccer.jpg:Defender Emily Quigley (17) steps out to block a pass attempt by IPFW’s Brittany Climmons (8) on Oct. 11. SDSU came away with a pair of wins from this weekend’s road trip. With the two wins, the Jacks stretched their road-winning streak to four.:Ethan Swanson