Drake downs Jackrabbits, 2-1


A flat performance from the SDSU soccer team allowed Drake to spoil the Jacks’ home opener with a 2-1 Bulldogs win at Fishback Soccer Park Aug. 31.

Bluntly, SDSU’s squad is young — the Jackrabbits started five freshmen Friday — and are learning on the run.

“We’re just young and immature, and we don’t know how to win games yet,” SDSU head coach Lang Wedemeyer said.

The Jackrabbits opened the first half poorly with Drake controlling possession and paid for it when SDSU was caught out of position, leaving Generve Charles with a wide open net to put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0 in the ninth minute.

From there, both sides played much more evenly, and the Jacks upped their offensive attack, but it wasn’t until the 23rd minute that SDSU mustered a shot. Drake took a 1-0 lead into the halftime intermission.

SDSU didn’t wait long into the second half to equalize. Megan Kingston’s corner kick resulted in a mess in front of the net before Darci Miller slid in to punch the ball into the back of the net, tying the game at 1-1 in the 53rd minute on her second goal of the season.

Ultimately, SDSU’s young defense would yield the go-ahead goal. Ashlie Stokes scored in the 75th minute with a low shot away from SDSU goalkeeper Elisa Stamatakis for the winning goal.

The Jackrabbits tried feverishly to force overtime with a tying goal with three corner kick opportunities in the final 10 minutes, but Drake’s defense held on, taking revenge for a close 2-1 win earned by SDSU in Des Moines last season.

Wedemeyer said there are some good takeaways from the match.

“I think we probably played the best soccer we’ve played this season. Some of our combinations and ability to get through were good. The problem is that we didn’t have the scoring touch when we needed it,” Wedemeyer said.

Elisa Stamatakis had two saves for the Jacks in the loss, which moves them to 1-3-1 early in the year. Freshman Diana Potterveld led SDSU with a game-high four shots and Christa Nyblom took three shots. The win was the second road victory of the season for Drake (3-2), surpassing last year’s total of one.

“We were just making mistakes at critical points in the game, and that’s costing us,” Wedemeyer said.

SDSU returns to action Friday at North Dakota, with the game at 4 p.m in Grand Forks.