The Jacks kick it to win it; go into ’08 playoffs

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

Following one of the most successful seasons in the program’s history, the Jackrabbit women’s soccer team has one goal left to accomplish – win the Summit League Tournament.

The Jacks had only one loss in the Summit League but will go as the second seed in the tournament due to a goal differential in conference play. Oakland, the only conference foe to beat the Jacks, will be the top seed when the tournament begins Nov. 7 at Western Illinois.

“There’s a psychological sense to being the one seed,” head coach Lang Wedemeyer said. “There will be a difference in the third seed and the fourth seed. You always want to make things as easy as you can in that semi-final round. We know regardless of who we face, we need to be ready.”

When the Jacks take the field on Nov. 7, they will have had almost a two-week layoff from action and almost three weeks since their last win. Their last game was on Oct. 26 and was a 1-1 tie against Michigan State. Their last win was on Oct. 20 when they defeated North Dakota State, 2-0.

Wedemeyer does not think the break will hurt the Jacks.

“It certainly is a question in our mind not having a game last weekend,” Wedemeyer said. “I think that being able to do some different things in training because we don’t have a game, to push them a little harder at this time, to give them a couple days off on the weekend should be a benefit.”

The Jacks will take on IUPUI in the second game of the tournament. The Jacks have already downed the Jaguars, 1-0. This was IUPUI’s only conference loss.

The Jacks are led by a group of seniors. The top two goal scorers are Erin Kasmarick and Kellyn Farrell, while goalkeeper Nicole Lograsso is giving up less than one goal a game.

“You can’t say enough about their leadership, maturity and what they’ve done with this team,” Wedemeyer said. “Not only this year but in years past and how they’ve grown and brought the team to where they are now.”

Oakland will face Southern Utah in the other semi-final game. Wedemeyer is hoping the Jacks will use the loss to Oakland to propel them to the conference title.

“We hope it was a little bit of a wake-up call, spurred us to train a little bit harder, play a little bit harder and not take anything for granted,” Wedemeyer said.

The winner of the tournament will get the automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament, and Wedemeyer said the Jacks are “going there to win it.”

#1.882224:3243460216.jpg:SDSU_women_soccer.WEB.jpg:Cori Bonte works to keep the ball in bounds in non-league action. The Jacks head into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Summit League.:Ethan Swanson