Friday night SDSU scored their first victory of the fall in the South Dakota Showdown Series as the Jackrabbits soccer team bested the Coyotes 3-1.
The win was SDSU’s first road win of October, their last, and only, road victory coming against Iowa State University on Sept. 21.
“If I knew the key to winning on the road, I would have used it long before now,” Wedemeyer said. “Most of it really comes down to concentration and focus in key moments of the game. We emphasized that to the team – that we needed really focused training sessions leading into the game – and it paid off.”
Following being shutout on the road against NDSU and Omaha where they had been shutout, Friday’s goals came early.
In the 14th minute Nicole Hatcher ended the scoring drought thanks to an assist from fellow freshman Tori Poole.
“Nicole has been more and more dangerous as she has come back from injury and Tori has been really steady all season long, so it was great to see them contribute with goals and assists,” Wedemeyer said.
The Jacks then added goals by Alyssa Brazil, unassisted, and Delaney Ratcliffe, off an assist from Hatcher, to take a 3-0 lead.
“We have been somewhat inconsistent in how we start games, so it was a tremendous lift to get those early goals and build our confidence,” Wedemeyer said.
USD finally found the net in the 70th minute when Danielle Anderson scored following a corner kick, taking advantage of goal keeper Nicole Inskeep slipping on the play.
The Jacks finished the game with eight shots, seven of them coming on goal. Defensively they allowed six shots on which Inskeep made four saves.
With the win, SDSU improves to 8-7-1, 4-2-1 with one game remaining on their schedule.
When it comes to making the four-team field for the Summit League Championships in Denver the Jacks control their own destiny, but a loss would mean waiting for other teams to play out their schedules, some of which have games remaining on both Friday and Sunday.
“The schedule is good and bad,” Wedemeyer said. “It’s nice to have only one game, but hard to figure out where the teams will eventually be ranked and who will be in the conference tournament.”
SDSU’s final game will come against defending Summit League Champion Denver as the Jackrabbits host the Pioneers in conjunction with their celebration of senior day on Friday at 6 p.m. As far as Wedemeyer is concerned, the Jacks will approach it as a championship game.
“They are a great possession team,” Wedemeyer said concerning the Pioneers. “If we can make sure that their possession is in front of us and limit their penetration, we will frustrate them. Then we just have to take advantage of our opportunities on the other end.”