Rabbits fall to Bears

Will Oliver

Will Oliver

Coming off of Friday’s 2-1 win over the University of Montana, SDSU hosted the University of Northern Colorado Bears for a windy, overcast Sunday match .

The Jacks were looking to repeat. Those aspirations were thwarted by a hungry Bears’ offense, attempting almost twice as many shots on goal as the Jacks. SDSU also went the entire game without a corner kick attempt, while UNC took seven in the first half alone. State fell to UNC 0-2.

The score did not accurately reflect the evenness of the two teams, however.

Facing a 30 mph wind and a talented front line, the Jacks held the Bears scoreless through the 39th minute of play. With six minutes remaining in the first half, the center referee waived off an assistant referee’s foul call directed toward a Bears’ midfielder. The ensuing play resulted in a UNC goal by midfielder Megan Bellendir, after forward Jessica Zimmerman crossed the ball from near corner flag for the assist.

“It was the only time in the game [the referee] did not honor the linesman’s call,” said SDSU Head Coach Lang Wedemeyer. “Giving them a goal with six minutes to go in the first half … changed the whole game.”

With the wind at their backs, the Jacks’ shots on goal grew from 3 in the first half to 11 in the second. The majority of the second half was played on the Bears’ half of the field.

State’s best scoring opportunity came in the 77th minute when sophomore forward Kelsey Worcester received a pass from the backfield. She then lofted a pass over the UNC defense to forward Lisa Robinson. The Bears’ goal-keeper, Dana Garrett, foiled the breakaway as Robinson failed to convert an off-balance shot.

The Bears scored their second goal in the 52nd minute on a swift attack. UNC quickly transitioned from defense to offense, and forward Chelsey Ekenberg finished the attack with a shot to the back of the net. It proved to be UNC’s only quality scoring opportunity in the second half.

The win snapped a seven game losing streak for the Bears, and was not what Wedemeyer expected from his team, whose record fell to 4-9-1.

“They’ve been playing hard in training sessions and games,” Wedemeyer said, “[the team] did not bring that same effort today.”

He said the team needs to increase the pressure placed on defenses by improving the quality of attacks.

“We’re just going to have to bring focus … change mentality.”

The Jackrabbits host Utah Valley State Thursday at 7 p.m. at Fishback Soccer Park.