Soccer captures conference title

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

Closing the season with a 4-0-1 record, the Jacks recovered from a terrible middle portion of the season to win the United Soccer Conference Tournament during their first year in the conference.

Head Coach Lang Wedemeyer said the team felt like they played well all season long, but they just were not getting the breaks and bounces.

“We kept encouraging the girls to work hard … and they definitely did,” said Wedemeyer.

In the first game of the tournament, the Jacks defeated Howard University, 8-0.

The second game was much closer, as the Jacks faced a tough Utah Valley State squad in the semifinals. SDSU needed a shootout to defeat the Wolverines after battling them to a 0-0 tie after two overtimes.

Wedemeyer said the team outplayed Utah Valley State and probably should have won in overtime, but the team had prepared for the possibility of a penalty kick contest before the tournament started.

In the championship game, the Jackrabbits avenged an earlier season 1-0 loss to fellow USC newcomer North Dakota State University.

Wedemeyer said the earlier loss to NDSU was very tough because the team felt they could have won the game. He said the girls wanted another chance to play against NDSU in the tournament.

In the 74th minute of the championship game, Kellyn Farrell received a pass from Kelsey Worcester and headed the ball past NDSU keeper Monica Morgan.

“I felt like it was a great tournament. It was great to have something at the end of the season,” said Wedemeyer.

The Jacks played their best soccer at the end of the season.

“We definitely peaked at the right time,” said Wedemeyer.

After going six games without scoring a single goal, the Jacks scored 16 goals in the final seven games of the season.

The team not only clicked on offense, but on defense as well. During the final eight games of the season, the Jacks held their opponent scoreless six times.

The Jacks did not allow a goal during regulation all tournament. Due to the outstanding defensive efforts, keeper Nicole Lograsso and defender Maggie Eilers were named to the all-tournament team. Midfielder Natasha Swift was also named to the all-tournament team and Farrell was selected United Soccer Conference Tournament MVP. She scored three goals for the Jacks.