Undefeated Jacks face last two games before conference slate


Zoey Schentzel

South Dakota State forward Cece Limongi moving the ball alongside Creighton midfielder Olivia Manning. The Jacks and the Bluejays ended the game with a 1-1 tie. It’s the second straight tie the Jackrabbits have had, following their 1-1 tie with Drake Sunday Sept. 4.

Tristen Hanna, Sports Reporter

The South Dakota State soccer team is set for two more home games this week, against Air Force Sept. 15 and Kansas State Sept. 18 at Fishback Soccer Park.

The Jackrabbits (4-0-3) are coming off a hard-fought game that each ended in a 1-1 draw as they look ahead to this week.

SDSU’s first game this week will be against the Air Force Falcons. It will be the second-ever matchup between the two teams; their first was last season, a game the Jackrabbits won 1-0.

The Falcons, led by first-year head coach Laura Busby, are 2-2-1 this season. After a scoreless tie and a 5-0 loss to Washington, the Falcons have won two of their last three games, including a dramatic 2-1 win Sunday against Northern Arizona on a game-winning goal in the final seconds.

For the Falcons, Audrey Colter, Raine Komata, Andrea Mosher and Jenna Rubidoux have all scored a goal this season, while goalkeeper Cammy Bych has allowed eight goals and has 17 saves.

“I think with Air Force we’re going to find we’re going to play a team that’s very disciplined,” coach Brock Thompson said. “When we played at Air Force last year, it was a heck of a game, and I wouldn’t expect it to be any different.”

After Friday’s game against Air Force, the Jackrabbits will face Kansas State for the second-ever matchup Sunday, Sept. 18. The first matchup came in 2019 when K-State won 2-0.

The Wildcats are 3-3-1 on the season and are led by seventh-year head coach Mike Dibbini. Their latest game was a home win against Yale and they will play at home against Colorado State before their matchup with the Jackrabbits.

Their leading scorer is Kyler Goins with three goals. She also leads the team in shots with 22. Goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer has allowed six goals this season and has 22 saves.

The Jackrabbits are led by Maya Hansen, who leads the team in goals (4) and assists (5). The Jacks are also led by their two veteran goalkeepers Hailee Fischer is back after missing all last season and has started four games with only three goals allowed. Jocelyn Tanner has started the other three games for SDSU this season and has allowed two goals.

“We’re really excited and we’re ready to go,” junior forward Kayla Anderson said. “We’re ready to tune up to get ready for Summit League play, which we’re super excited for.”

In SDSU’s last  game, they gave enough energy not to lose but still struggled to find enough energy to win. After a full battle, the score resulted in a 1-1 draw Sunday against Creighton.

For the first 45 minutes of the game, there was a back-and-forth defensive battle, with the Jackrabbits having a 5-1 advantage on shots in the first half.

Fifty-one minutes into the game, Anderson scored a goal for the first point of the match. Her teammate Lauren Eckerle gave her the assist to put the Jackrabbits up 1-0.

The Bluejays then responded 19 minutes later, as Lara Kazandjian found her striker Hailey Rothwell in a crowded penalty area, but the shot was good enough to tie the game 1-1.

The score did not change for the remainder of the game. While the Jackrabbits did finish the game with a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks, the Bluejays’ led in shot attempts 15-7.

“I thought we were quite good from the opening whistle until we scored,” Thompson said. “And then I felt we had the mindset to hang on a little bit, and that’s a learning moment for us.”

The Jackrabbits open their conference schedule against in-state rival USD at home Sept. 24.