The South Dakota State soccer team traveled to the Marquette Invitational this past weekend and went 0-1-1 in games against Loyola (Ill.) and Marquette.
In the first game against Loyola, the Jacks outshot the Ramblers 21-11, but could not capitalize on all those opportunities as they fell 2-1 in overtime.
“I thought we played pretty well, and that’s kind of been the case in all the games we’ve lost,” SDSU Head Coach Lang Wedemeyer said. “I think we’ve been the better team. We outshot them two-to-one, we had twice as many corner kicks; we just kind of found a way to lose instead of finding a way to win in that game. I was happy with how we played but not happy with us not being able to find the result.”
Loyola took a 1-0 lead in the first half, but Diana Potterveld evened the score in the 53rd minute. Neither team was able to gain an advantage in regulation, sending the game into overtime. Loyola would push a shot in early in the extra time though, setting the Rabbits down with a loss.
The Jacks faced off against the host Marquette on Sunday, and played the Golden Eagles to a 1-1 draw.
“Marquette was probably the best team we’ve played all season… so we knew that was going to be a really tough game,” Wedemeyer said. “I don’t think we played our best game, but we made enough plays to get a result, so it’s kind of bittersweet.”
Marquette ripped off 26 shots in the match, but junior goalie Nicole Inskeep notched 11 saves to help preserve the tie.
After a scoreless first half, Madison Yueill put the Jackrabbits up 1-0 with her second goal of the season in the 47th minute, but Marquette would even it within three minutes and SDSU would never reclaim the lead.
Though the Jacks were able to hang a tie on a well-respected Marquette squad, Wedemeyer still saw room for improvement.
“We didn’t play as well as we could. Part of that was the quality of Marquette; part of it was what we were doing to ourselves,” Wedemeyer said. “But we did enough to be able to get a tie and getting a tie in that game was a pretty good result considering the quality of the team we played.”
Though SDSU sits at .500 with a 3-3-1 record, missed opportunities in spite of their quality play continue to derail the Jacks. Wedemeyer hopes that with a slate of games in Brookings this weekend will give the Jacks a chance to ge tover the hump.
“In a lot of respects our players are doing the right things, and we’re playing pretty well for good portions of the games,” Wedemeyer said of the team’s performance. “Each person is a little different. One person may need to be a little bit more composed, while another might need to get a little bit more focused and another might need to work on keeping the ball a little bit better. Each person we’ve kind of challenged in their own way to get just a little bit better, that one to two percent better in whatever capacity that they need to improve individually that will then collectively help the team cross that river and get the results that I think we’ve deserved.”
On Friday, the Jacks face off against Northern Iowa at Fishback Soccer Park in Brookings and host the University of North Dakota on Sunday. These are the Jacks’ first home games since Aug. 23.
“We’re excited to be back at home, and it has been nice to be sleeping in our own beds. Both teams are good and they are both having solid seasons so far. They play similar types of games, which are fairly direct. They try to play the ball in behind and rush onto it, so that’s something we’ll have to prepare for, because that’ll be a little different than some of the teams we’ve been playing. We are excited about playing them,” Wedemeyer said. “We are going to focus primarily on what we have to do to improve going into these games. Hopefully we can find some consistency from Friday to Sunday.”