The SDSU women’s soccer team returned to Fishback Soccer Park to defeat Southwest Minnesota State 1-0 on Tuesday night in their first home scrimmage of the spring.
Throughout much of the first half both teams struggled to find any sort of rhythm. SMU’s best scoring opportunity came about midway through the half when Kendahl Fisher’s shot bounced off the right crossbar of the Jackrabbit goal.
“I give a lot of credit to Southwest Minnesota State,” said head coach Lang Wedemeyer. “… It was a good challenge for us today. We just weren’t sharp. There’s no real excuse for it. We’re at the end of our spring. We’ve been training a lot. We’ve been practicing well. The girls just weren’t sharp with some of their decisions, their passing, their finishing.”
SDSU finally broke through with about 10 minutes left in the half when Diana Potterveld drew a foul inside, setting up a penalty kick opportunity for Madison Yueill who successfully converted it to give the Jacks the 1-0 lead.
The second half began similar to the first, but seven minutes in, Stephanie Kryzwania had the first major scoring opportunity for the Jacks as she attacked from her wing position and launched the ball just over the top crossbar.
Meanwhile, SDSU’s defensive luck continued as several Mustang shots sailed safely over their goal, allowing them to maintain their lead.
“We had too many holes, too many lapses in judgment,” Wedemeyer said. “That’s got to be something we get better at very fast.”
The Jacks later had a pair of scoring chances within a minute of each other, the first coming when Potterveld passed it to Shelby Raper inside and her shot went just wide. Moments later, Potterveld tried to head-butt the ball in but it just missed.
In the end, the Jackrabbits, while looking a little better as the game progressed, would finish the half without scoring, they hope to improve on as SDSU heads into their Wednesday, April 23 game against Augustana College. The game will be played at Fishback Soccer Park at 6 p.m.
“We’ve got to improve,” Wedemeyer said. “We’ve got to start faster and more focused and we’ve got to come with a little bit more hungry to score goals.”
Going into next year the Jacks will have to replace the leadership of four seniors. Wedemeyer said that he feels they are coming along well in that regard and that several sophomores are stepping up.
When it comes to who plays where, there will still be plenty to be determined as they seek to replace three starters.
“Right now there are still some question marks about who’s going to play where, but some of the girls are doing pretty well this spring and we’re hopeful that some of the new freshmen will come in and make some impacts for us,” Wedemeyer said.
On Saturday the players will participate in the Alumni Game at their practice field. As indicated by its title, SDSU soccer alumni will be mixed in with current players for the scrimmage.