Bison blank Jacks in Fargo

The NDSU Bison handed the SDSU soccer team their first Summit League loss on Friday as they blanked the Jacks 1-0.

Both teams appeared to struggle early on offensively but in the 38th minute NDSU’s Lauren Miller scored her team-leading eighth goal of the season.

“Certainly she’s a very talent player,” said head coach Lang Wedemeyer. “We kind of gifted her a goal today which is a shame because otherwise we really shut her down.”

Wedemeyer changed up the attack a bit in the first half, moving sophomore Shelby Raper to the center forward position and bumping Potterveld to the outside which Wedemeyer said as an effort to get behind NDSU a little more. Potterveld did get off one shot on goal in the half, but as a team the Jacks were held to five shots while surrendering just four shots to the Bison.

SDSU’s best opportunity of the half came on a free kick by Dani Patterson. Patterson’s kick sailed just over the goal, bouncing off the top of the crossbar.

The Jacks turned up the pressure in the second half, but the Bison defense was equal to the task, keeping the ball out of the box limiting what the wings could do with the ball.

“They took us, the wings – Hatch [Nicole Hatcher] and I – out pretty well and if we got the ball they would close down pretty fast,” Raper said. “Their game plan is basically: put everyone on defense and then boot it up to their top two players, and so it was normally three versus at least five or six players and that makes it pretty tough for us.” 

Gameplay became very physical at times during the game, but the Jacks did not use that as an excuse.

“It was definitely a physical game,” Raper said. “We can’t really blame it on the refs. Yes they’re a big part of the game, but we should have capitalized on the chances we did get.”

In the final minutes the Jacks began to get shots off after being dormant for much of the half, but goal keeper Sierra Bonham or one of the defenders always seemed to get in the way and knock the ball harmlessly away.

“I think that we really took control in the second half, but just couldn’t find our way through,” Wedemeyer said.

The shutout was Bonham’s third of the year and she came into the game limiting opponents to 1.07 goals per game.

SDSU finished the game with 10 total shots, four of them being on goal while the Bison only added one more shot attempt in the second half and Miller’s goal was their only shot on goal of the night.

The game was played on the artificial turf of Dacotah field which may have caused some of the early errant passes for the Jacks and according to Raper, gave the Bison a home field advantage.

“I think it’s definitely an advantage playing at their home field for them,” Raper said. “We’ve only played on turf once at Iowa State so that’s definitely something new for us and it bounces a lot more than we are used to and they knew really well how to take us out of our game.”

Next up for the Jacks is a trip to Omaha on Sunday. The Mavericks are 1-0-2 in Summit League play and 3-9-2 overall.