Jacks to open Summit League play on road




Brady Nicolaus

After going undefeated in the Summit League last year, the South Dakota State women’s soccer team (5-4-1) will look to have the same success in the 2018 conference schedule that opens this week.

Freshman midfielder Karlee Manding currently leads the Jackrabbit offensive attack with four goals and one assist.

On the defensive end of the field, junior goalkeeper Maggie Smither has 50 saves this season, which is third best in the Summit League, and owns an 86 save percentage. Smither won the Summit League Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 17.

Next, SDSU will face the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Mastodons (3-4-3) Friday, Sept. 28. then Western Illinois University Fighting Leathernecks (2-6-1) on Sunday, Sept. 30.

After dropping their first two games of the season, the Jacks have won five of their last eight games.

Their first opponent, the sixth-place Mastodons, will head into Friday’s game having won one game and snapping a two-game losing streak.

IPFW has struggled to find the net this season, scoring only eight goals through its first nine games, five of which came in their latest game against Chicago State on Sept. 22.

The Mastodons have a healthy balance of goalscorers, with six players finding the back of the net, including three who have scored at least twice.

Freshman forward Kayla Wisniewski heads the IPFW women’s soccer team with five goals (including a hat trick against Chicago State) and one assist.

After the Jacks face the Mastodons, they will shift their focus to another Summit League foe.  

Western Illinois finds themselves in last place in the Summit League. WIU is on a two-game losing streak heading into a Friday matchup with North Dakota State before hosting the Jacks Sunday.

The Leathernecks also field a balanced attack — but have an established goalscorer in junior forward Emily Bollman. She had four goals and one assist during the Leathernecks’ non-conference schedule.

The game against Fort Wayne will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The following game against Western Illinois will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30 in Macomb, Illinois.