SDSU in control

 On Thursday the SDSU soccer team rolled past Northern State 3-1 to garner their third straight win and improve to 3-3 on the year. 

The Jacks kept the pressure on the Wolves from the first minute till the last, maintaining the offensive throughout much of the game and tallying 31 shots to just four for NSU. 

“We played probably the best soccer we have this season,” head coach Lang Wedemeyer said. 

Junior Midfielder Alyssa Brazil opened up what looked to be an avalanche of scoring when she struck first off assists from forwards Diana Potterveld and Shelby Raper. 

The Wolves stiffened though, keeping bodies in front of the net and not allowing the Jacks to pass or drive the ball inside with any success. 

“They did a good job putting a lot of bodies in front of the goal and kind of frustrating us there,” Wedemeyer said. “Credit to them – their girls played hard the whole match.” 

In the midst of this, NSU generated several scoring opportunities on breakaways, first coming when a ball glanced harmlessly off the side of the goal and later when goalkeeper Elisa Stamatakis made a pair of saves. 

“It’s more so staying focused,” Stamatakis said about guarding her goal while her team took the offensive for the majority of the half. “I used my communication during the game to keep myself in it. That helped with me being able to make saves when my team needed me to,” 

While in the game, Stamatakis often can be heard talking to her teammates as she seeks to quarterback the SDSU defense. 

“I look to communicate things that will make my team better,” Stamatakis said. “I try not to focus on what’s happened and instead be proactive with what I say. … When I communicate I look to set the defense up, get them in the right positions to win balls, keep them motivated to win them.” 

The Jacks also nearly scored on several occasions in the half, including when NSU goalkeeper Brittany Tietz tipped a liner from Raper that was headed over her head and then caught the tip. Later on Potterveld had an opening on shot one on the ground that went just wide. 

Despite being on the defense for the majority if the game, NSU suddenly put the pressure on SDSU early in the second half when Anna Bondy fired a shot into the top bar that bounced down and was ruled a goal. 

Twelve minutes later forward Alexa Trakalo passed it over to midfielder Tori Poole who slipped it passed defenders to an open Potterveld who scored in front of the net to give the Jacks the lead and Poole her first career assist. 

The Jacks kept the pressure on the Wolves to the very end, and with less than six minutes to play Trakalo picked up her second assist of the night when Brazil scored on a header to put the game out of reach. 

Goalkeeper Nicole Inskeep played the second half of the game and earned her first victory of the season. 

Opposite her and Stamatakis, Tietz made 10 saves while allowing all the of SDSU’s goals. 

“Their keeper made some big saves tonight which kept us off the board,” Wedemeyer said. 

The Jacks now begin a three day road swing to finish up nonconference action, beginning with a game against Saint Mary’s on Friday, Sept 19 in Lawrence, Kan. 

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Wedemeyer said. “We haven’t quite put together a full 90 minutes yet of consistent concentrated soccer so when we play Saint Mary’s and Iowa State, those are going to be battles.”