On a breezy Sunday afternoon at Fishback Soccer Park, the SDSU women’s soccer team (5-3-2) rebounded from Saturday’s loss to The University of Kansas and cruised to a 6-1 victory against the visiting University of North Dakota (1-8-1).
After spending much of Sunday’s game on the defensive, the Jacks struck during the first minute of Sunday’s contest when sophomore forward Diana Potterveld scored the first goal of the game. According to Potterveld, scoring early was a major focus coming into the game.
“One of our goals was to get a goal in the first ten minutes so we were really pushing it, really trying to come out strong out of the gate, ‘cause we haven’t been so strong,” Potterveld said.
After the goal, the Jacks experienced what would be their longest scoring drought of the game as the two teams battled back and forth. At one point Potterveld appeared to be pulled down as she was maneuvering for a shot in front of UND’s goal, but no call was made by the referee.
That incited several complaints from the SDSU bench.
“You just got to keep going, you know. You can’t control the ref. It’s out of your control. So, you just keep pushing through and keep climbing, trying to get the next goal,” Potterveld said.
Before the next goal would come, the Jacks watched a penalty kick go in for a goal by North Dakota’s Kirsten Olson to briefly tie the game. SDSU responded though, when senior forward Stacy Guijarro was able to score in front of the goal thanks to an assist from senior midfielder Caylee Costello. That gave the Jacks a lead they would never relinquish.
The Jacks took a 2-1 lead into halftime, but with the wind at their backs they blew the game wide open in the second half. Two minutes into the half, senior forward Megan Kingston launched the ball into UND’s net from along the sideline. Several minutes later sophomore midfielder Alyssa Brazil scored on a penalty kick following the tripping of Potterveld by UND’s goalie Kristi Hestdalen. Sophomore defender Delaney Ratcliffe shortly thereafter scored on a corner kick.
At that point head coach Lang Wedemeyer took advantage of the biggest lead his team had held since their exhibitioner against Winnipeg and called on his bench.
“These girls have worked hard and they don’t always get a chance to play in these tight games like Kansas,” Wedemeyer said. “…The fact that we were able to give them some opportunities to play where there wasn’t a lot of pressure I think allows them to grow and get more comfortable, just enough for those times that you may need them.”
That Jacks were not done scoring, with 15 minutes remaining in the contest, freshman midfielder Madison Yueill added the Jacks’ sixth goal of the afternoon. The Jacks hope the momentum will carry over into Friday.
SDSU tallied up 19 shots on goal compared to UND’s six.
“You’ve got to adjust your game whether you’re going into the wind, [or] against the wind,” Potterveld said. “But we’ve talked about it a lot before, being able to play feet and know when we have the wind or don’t have the wind what we should do with the ball. So we were prepared for it and I think we did really well.”
Sunday’s victory over UND’s marked a climactic finish to what had been an up and down series of non-conference games in which the team had at times struggled to score. The Jacks will begin Summit League play on Friday, Oct. 4 when they travel to Western Illinois (4-5-1).