Jacks win Summit League opener on last second goal

With overtime looming following a late goal by IUPUI on a cold and windy Friday night, the Jacks found their magic with two seconds to play, scoring the game winner off a series of deflections to down the Jaguars 2-1.

Coming in, the SDSU soccer team had experienced ups and downs throughout the course of a nonconference schedule where they went 4-5, but Friday night belonged to them as they entered Summit League Play.

“When you coach for 15 years there are going to be some dramatic wins and some dramatic losses,” said head coach Lang Wedemeyer. “I thought we played fairly well tonight. Give IUPUI credit for getting back into the game like they did, but I felt like we deserved to win.”

Both offenses were relatively silent during the first half of play. The best scoring opportunity for either side came when a penalty kick gave IUPUI’s Alyssa Fox a chance, but her shot went wide and high, glancing harmlessly of the cross bar.

The Jacks nearly had a penalty kick of their own several minutes later when Diana Potterveld appeared to be tripped on the Jaguar’s end, but play continued without a call.

“Obviously sometimes you think you should get the foul, you should get the PK [penalty kick], that kind of thing, but the ref is out of your control so you just have to keep playing your game, keep fighting through it,” Potterveld said.

Overall the game was a physical one, and Potterveld among others would go down again.

“That’s the Summit League,” Wedemeyer said. “The two teams played hard and played physical. You’ve got to be able to deal with it.”

More scoring opportunities came in the second half for SDSU as the northwesterly wind angled in behind their attack.  

In the 55th minute Potterveld put the Jackrabbits on the board after receiving the ball up ahead on the sideline and angling toward the goal unopposed before eluding keeper Catherine Schmidt and driving in her fourth goal of the season.

“It was good to get on the attack again,” Potterveld said. “I have a lot of assists lately, so I’ve been really happy to have other people scoring – it’s been nice. … But it was good to get one again today and I couldn’t have done it without the rest of the team and Alyssa Brazil with her assist.”  

As the half wore on Schmidt kept her team in the game, making several saves on shots by Potterveld, Brazil and the SDSU attack. For the game Schmidt would make six saves, equaling SDSU’s Elisa Stamatakis.

In the 83rd minute of play Catherine Raster tied the game, reintroducing the possibility of overtime on 40 degree night that saw SDSU’s Delaney Ratcliffe leave with an apparent injury and an IUPUI player also leave the game after going down.

Such was not the fate of the Jacks though as they worked the ball deep into the Jaguars’ side in the final minute, allowing Madison Yueill to fire the ball into a crowd in front of the next with less than 10 seconds remaining.

Amidst the chaos the ball found its way from Nicole Hatcher to Potterveld who sent it off IUPUI’s Ali Nelson and into the goal for the game winner as the clock stopped with two seconds remaining.

“Oh man, it’s a good feeling,” Potterveld said. “Obviously we worked really hard throughout the game and it was upsetting for them to tie it back up … but we just kept going. We knew we needed to keep playing our game, keep fighting for it. Luckily we were able to get it done in the last two seconds.”

The win brings the Jacks one step closer to their goal of making it to Denver in November where the league’s top four teams will compete for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re really excited, but we’re going to take one game at a time,” Potterveld said. “Western Illinois is on Sunday so [we’ll] focus on that one. Right now we’re 1-0 so we’ve got to keep it going from here.”