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Jacks race by Bison, win conference crown...

Published: October 29, 2011

The South Dakota State women's soccer team was in control of its own destiny and took advantage of it, beating North Dakota State 3-1...

The win secures the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Summit League Tournament, as SDSU concluded an undefeated conference schedule.

On senior night, senior Kelsey Ferguson played big. Ferguson put the Jacks on top midway through the first half. Sophomore Megan Kingston recorded the assist on spectacular move, splitting two defenders and finding Ferguson wide open in front of the net.

Little did the Jacks know, the goal was a lead they would not relinquish.

The score at halftime was 1-0 in favor of SDSU.

The Jacks were outshot in the firs half 8-1, including a 5-1 shots on goal advantage for the Bison. SDSU, however, made its one shot count.

Determined to not allow a repeat of last year's regular season contest, Ferguson stepped up once again. Only three minutes and 49 seconds into the second half, Ferguson scored from outside the top of the box. Kingston and sophomore Darci Miller were each credited with an assist after a drop pass and center.

The goal was Ferguson's sixth of the season, which leads the team.

North Dakota State narrowed the margin in the 63rd minute on a loose ball that was controlled in the SDSU box.

The goal ended a consecutive shutout minutes streak of 832:23 for senior goalkeeper Kat Donovan. The streak is the 12th-best in NCAA history.

"[Donovan] played very solid," head coach Lang Wedemeyer said. "They put a lot of pressure on. It took us a while to get adjusted to that in the first half. We played better soccer in the second and created some dangerous scoring chances."

The determination of the Jacks was evident, however, as the team responded 14 minutes later. Junior Christa Nyblom made an incredible shot, chipping a crossed ball over the goalkeeper to the far post. The cross came from sophomore Abby Jurgens, who received a deep ball from senior Steph Peterson. Both were credited with an assist.

It was the first time this season that there were two assists on two goals for the Jacks.

The second two-goal lead was too much for the Bison to overcome, as the game ended with a 3-1 score in favor of SDSU.

"It was one of those games that was back and forth," Wedemeyer said. "Both attacks were dangerous. The game was certainly not over, one way or another. I was very encouraged by how the team reacted to giving up that goal. They locked things down and kept attacking. That third goal was huge."

NDSU outshot the Jacks 15-13, including a 9-5 shots on goal advantage. SDSU was whistled for 10 fouls to the Bison's four, while both teams were called offside twice.

"It is wonderful to win the regular season and be the No. 1 seed going into the tournament," Wedemeyer said. "It is going to be a tough tournament and we have to have our best game next Friday."

The Jacks now travel to Rochester, Mich., for The Summit League Tournament. The first round takes place on Friday, Nov. 4, with the finals taking place on Sunday, Nov. 6.

Seeding and matchups for the tournament will be determined tomorrow following Sunday's games.

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