Jackrabbits buckle down on the Bison, win at home

By ROBERT MYERS Sportswriter


 With the aid of clutch defense and just enough offense, the South Dakota State women’s soccer team 10-3-2 (5-0-0) won a 1-0 thriller over North Dakota State University 7-8-0 (3-2- 0) under the lights of Fishback Soccer Park on Saturday night to secure a birth in the Summit League Tournament. 

NDSU went on the attack in the opening minutes, but SDSU’s defense remained stout, allowing only one shot in the half. The Bison’s best scoring opportunity of the half was thwarted away by Caylee Costello who made a daring slide to knock the ball away as the Bison were preparing to attack the Jackrabbit’s goal with numbers. 

“I think the team knows me pretty good as the one to sacrifice their body,” Costello said. “I’m always willing to throw my body out there no matter what the play’s going to be. If I’m injured, I’m injured.” 

The Jackrabbits’ offense struggled throughout much of the contest, battling offensive miscommunication, excellent play by NDSU goalie Sierra Bonham, and Bison defenders swarming to the ball. As a result the score remained 


 deadlocked at zero until the 76th minute when Shelby Raper was able to get the ball behind the Bison defense along the sideline. Raper then sent the ball back to the middle of the field where Darci Miller was able to find Costello in front of the goal where Costello booted the ball into the net for what would prove to be the game winner. 

“Playing NDSU, our big border rival – it’s always good to get a win from them,” Costello said. “And getting a little payback from last year when they beat us in overtime the last minute, so we kind of had that in the back of our minds all year, ready to play them, ready to beat them, and finally come home with the win.” 

The Bison fought back hard, seeking to tie the game during the final minutes of the contest. They almost succeeded when a shot bounced off the right crossbar of the Jackrabbit goal and was shot back in off a rebound, but goalie Nicole Inskeep was able to secure the save for the Jackrabbits, and in the finally minutes Wedemeyer’s team was able keep the ball pinned on the NDSU side. 

During the game, SDSU outshot NDSU 15-8 with Inskeep recording three saves, and Bonham recording five. Head coach Lang Wedemeyer was very pleased with his team’s effort. 

“They believe,” Wedemeyer said. “They believe that they will find a way to break through. They believe they are going to find a way to get that goal. They don’t panic. When we miss a few chances we just keep coming at it and keep coming at it, and they found a way tonight.” 

The victory had its costs though. Dani Patterson, the reigning Summit League defensive player of the week, tried to fight through an apparent injury in the second half, but soon later aggravated it while trying to kick the ball downfield. She fell to the ground with a cry of pain and seemed unable to put any weight on her right foot as she was helped off the field. 

“We seem to have lost a player per game over the last few weeks,” Wedemeyer said. “So we just hope that they can get healthy again by next week. And we just have to have girls that are stepping up and playing and doing the job for us.” 

The team is optimistic that Diana Potterveld, who was injured against South Dakota on Oct. 11 and spent the NDSU game wearing a boot on her right foot, could return for SDSU’s next matchup at the 16th ranked University of Denver 14-1-1 (5-0-0) on Friday, Oct. 25.