Jacks look to take on Summit League head on

Nick Hartley

Nick Hartley

The 2007 Jackrabbit soccer team returns to the pitch with passion in their eyes and a thirst for Summit League blood.

Last fall, SDSU defeated North Dakota State University in the United Soccer Conference championship game. The Jacks hope to take the momentum into the 2007 season. The Jackrabbits also bring in a class of twelve recruits, which was ranked fourth in the Summit League according to Soccer Buzz Magazine.

Senior Nicole Lograsso returns as the team’s goalkeeper, allowing a mere 0.81 goals per game last year. Incoming freshmen Daniella Pappas and Brienna Rogers will compete to be Lograsso’s backup.

Defensively, juniors Kerstyn Farrell, Alex Schaller and Kelly Larson are expected to lead a deep group of defenders. Sophomore Jessica Heine should team up with Larson to form a defensive wall. Incoming freshmen make up the final three spots on the depth chart as JoLynn Janckila, Emily Quigley and Betsy Yungbauer all hope to get some playing time throughout the season.

A solid group of forwards return this year looking to give defenders a very hard time. Farrell and senior Kelsey Worcester scored almost half of the goals last year and look to build on that performance. Junior Kellie Van Gerpen and sophomore Chelsea Lira will also be called upon throughout the season. Depth is added with freshmen Danielle Healy, Elizabeth Nagelhout and Kayla Perleberg, who will compete for playing time.

The midfielder position has received the services of Chelsea Goosen, a junior who has moved over from the forward position. Senior Vanessa Paswaters hopes for a successful return this fall from a knee injury. Senior Liz Lane has proven herself a game breaker and wins many of the mid-air battles. Sophomore Diana Nuss returns to round out the midfielders. Newcomers Tory Schiltgen, Kaitlin Justice, Danielle Neuhalfen and Lexy Drayton are talented players who could be starting for years to come.

Seventeen games, ten of which are at home, dot the schedule for the Jacks. The Sept. 7 match against Oakland marks the first time that SDSU will compete against a Summit League opponent ever. Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 23 as Iowa comes to SDSU; the match officially mark the beginning of Hobo Day week.

Expect Nicole Lograsso to shine again this year in goal as she wraps up her career as a Jackrabbit. Kelli Herman, if healthy, could turn into a goal-scoring machine and be the future for the soccer team.

#1.883359:3980428690.jpg:soccer1.jpg:Forward Kellyn Farrell battles a Northern Iowa defender for the ball in the Jackrabbits’ season opener Aug. 31 at Fishback Soccer Park.:Jason Rove