Denver snaps Jacks’ six-game streak

By Robert Myers Sportswriter

On Friday Oct. 25, the SDSU women’s soccer team (10-4-2, 5-1-0) fell on the road to the University of Denver (16-1-1, 7-0-0) by a final score of 4-0.

In one game, everything that had seemingly gone right for the Jackrabbits suddenly went wrong as they suffered their first loss of the month. Coming into the game the Jacks had won five straight 1-0 victories against conference foes, but in Denver, the balls that had been bouncing SDSU’s way instead went Denver’s way, allowing the Pioneers to put the contest out of reach early in the second half. 

SDSU began the game fighting with the same determination that has characterized the team this season. Their defense was stout and they played fairly evenly with Denver, tallying five shots to Denver’s eight in the first half and only allowing one goal. 

“They [Denver] have a lot of high powered attackers within that offense and they’ve scored a lot of goals through the whole season,” head coach Lang Wedemeyer said. “I thought we played a pretty good first half. We made a mistake which got them on the board, but otherwise we did a pretty good job defensively.”

The wheels for the Jacks fell off early in the second half though. In the first minute of the half, the ball was deflected off of Jackrabbit defender Ashley Adams and into the net for the Pioneers’ second goal of the game. 

Down two goals, the Jackrabbits play reflected a slight depreciation in intensity during the second half. The Pioneers added two more goals and outshot the Jackrabbits 12-0. As a result, both teams ended up dipping into their depth charts a bit by the time the game ended. 

Playing the entire game for the Jacks, goalie Nicole Inskeep made a career high nine saves. Offensively, Alexa Trakalo led the team with three shots.  In spite of the bleak final score, Wedemeyer still found positives in the performance of his team. 

“Nikki [Inskeep] played really well and made some big time saves in that game.” Wedemeyer said. “Obviously she gave up four goals, but I think she played very well. And I thought in the first half we played well. Shelby Raper played well. Alexa Trakalo had a couple great chances to score, and our defense held fairly strong. I think in the second half Denver showed a little bit of why they are a nationally ranked team, and we just couldn’t quite overcome the start.”

These two teams could potentially meet again in the Summit League Tournament where both have secured births, but Wedemeyer plans to take things one game at a time until then. 

“We certainly hope that we get a chance at them again,” Wedemeyer said. “But we know that we have to first focus on IPFW this weekend and then figure out who our opponent is in the semifinals of the conference tournament. We would like to play Denver again and get another shot at them, but we know we’ve got some work to do before that time.”

One such task might be getting players healthy. The team found themselves missing two starters – forward Diana Potterveld and defender Danni Patterson – for the Denver game. In the meantime, the team needs to pick themselves up and prepare for Senior Day on Nov. 3 when they will host Fort Wayne (6-9-1. 3-1-1) at noon.

“We’re fortunate that it’s not a must win game to get into the tournament,” Wedemeyer said. “But at the same time it’s senior day; it’s the last time that our seniors will have a chance to play at home. … We really want to get back into our flow of winning. So I think the game holds a lot of significance.”