Women’s soccer set to play Drake

Mike Schaefer

Mike Schaefer

After losing one game and tying another game at the North Dakota State Bison Invitational soccer tournament, the Jackrabbit women’s soccer team returns to action at Fishback Soccer Park on Friday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. The Jacks will attempt to exact revenge from the Drake University Bulldogs.

Last season, the Jacks traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, to play Drake, where the Bulldogs handed SDSU a 2-0 loss. The Bulldogs scored quickly to gain the early advantage. Sarah Foote scored on an early drive past the Jacks’ keeper Jenn Davis, just one minute and 34 seconds into the game.

Melissa Nelson put the game away for good for the Bulldogs early in the second half, scoring after beating a defender to the loose ball. Nelson and Foote will attempt to duplicate last season’s performances as both players make the trip to Brookings.

In last year’s game, the Jackrabbits failed to give the Bulldogs a serious offensive challenge, only mustering three shots on the goal.

However, much has changed for the Jackrabbits in a season. They enter the game with a 3-2-1 record, coming off a tough tournament in Fargo, N.D. The Jackrabbits battled Weber State, the defending Big Sky Conference champions, to a 2-2 draw in the opening game of the Bison Invitational. Vanessa Paswaters and Erin Krasmarik scored goals for SDSU.

The second game did not go as well for the Jacks, who fell to Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, 3-0. The Jacks fired 18 shots, but could not manage a goal.

Despite not winning a game in the tournament, two Jacks, Paswaters and Kerstyn Farrell, were named to the Bison Invitational all-tournament team.

The Jacks return to Brookings with little momentum, but Drake does not enter the match with much either. The Bulldogs have lost their last two matches, to the University of Southern California and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, by a combined score of 7-1.

After getting shut out in the previous game, the Jackrabbits should have some quality chances on the goal against Drake. The Bulldogs have given up 12 goals in six games this season. Even though they have given up a high number of goals, Drake has shown the ability to compete with the top teams in the country. Drake battled nationally-ranked Marquette University to a 0-0 draw earlier in the season.

Coach Lang Wedemeyer knows not to underestimate the Bulldogs.

“Drake will be a quality opponent. They are close to making the NCAA tournament every year,” said Wedemeyer.

He said the Bulldogs will be one of the better teams the Jacks will face this year.

“This is one of the biggest games we have played at home since moving up to D-1,” Wedemeyer said.

The soccer game should be exciting, but quality sport is not the only reason to attend the game. Various promotions will take place. Jacks Fan-addicts t-shirts will be given away to everyone who signs up for the Jacks Fan-addicts Club. Every time the Jacks score a goal, a t-shirt will be thrown into the stands.

In addition to the t-shirts, two sponsors will give away free items. Burger King certificates will be given out as freshman freebies. When an upperclassman brings a freshman to a game, both sign up for a prize in different prize pools.

Also, Cubby’s is sponsoring a Magic Minute. If an SDSU player scores in the last minute of the first half, one lucky fan will win a $25 gift certificate to the restaurant. The final promotion is in conjunction with the volleyball game. Anyone who attends both the soccer and volleyball games will be entered into a drawing for a prize.