All season long, South Dakota State head coach Lang Wedemeyer had commented on the team's inability to finish opportunities...
That was not a problem on Sunday...
The Jackrabbits poured on the goals, scoring four second-half goals against North Dakota en route to a 5-1 win.
The majority of the first half was quiet for both teams, as neither team scored. SDSU registering seven shots in the first 41 minutes, but was unable to find the back of the net. In the 42nd minute, freshman Kristin Ford gave the Jackrabbits a 1-0 lead. Junior Megan Huegli secured the ball deep in North Dakota territory and crossed the ball to an open Ford.
The halftime score was 1-0 in favor of SDSU.
"We had the mentality to go in there and show we can finish," senior captain Cori Bonte said. "The first half was rough. We had many opportunities, but we were not capitalizing on them. It is that little bit of focus in the finishing that we need. We had it more at the end of the first half. We were a little more relaxed and did what we needed to do."
The Jacks did not wait long the pick up where they left off, scoring six minutes and 51 seconds into the second half. Sophomore Megan Kingston passed the ball to sophomore Darci Miller, who hit senior Kelsey Ferguson with a through ball. Ferguson beat the goalkeeper with her shot and made the score 2-0.
This score held for 27 minutes before UND scored and narrowed the margin to 2-1.
SDSU was not about to let UND back into the game. The Jackrabbits scored three goals in a span of seven minutes and 12 seconds.
At the 80:30 mark, Bonte received a through ball from Ferguson, drove past the goalkeeper and put the ball into the open net.
Two minutes later, sophomore Abby Jurgens, who scored the game-winning goal on Friday, notched another goal. Huegli crossed the ball into the box, which was headed on by sophomore Caylee Costello and finished by Jurgens.
The scoring finished in the 88th minute, as senior Kayla Braffet followed a saved shot by Ferguson, putting her shot in the back of the net.
The goal by Braffet moves her into a tie for sixth all-time in career scoring with 46 points. It also gives her 16 career goals, making her eighth all-time.
"It is our first weekend where we came out and won the weekend," said Ferguson. "We came out to do a job and we finished it. We are working a lot better together; more as a team."
For the Jackrabbits, it was the most goals scored since Oct. 31 of last season and only the third time in the past three years that the Jacks have scored five goals. The high offensive output was a welcome sight for SDSU.
"It is different playing on the road and different types of competition playing against, but we finished today," Wedemeyer said. "That was the difference. It was certainly a good game for us. We played well, scored some goals and built some confidence moving forward."
SDSU controlled the ball for most of the game, outshooting UND 24-3, including a 12-2 shots on goal advantage. The Jacks took 4 corner kicks to North Dakota's 3.
UND's bench received a yellow card midway through the second half. SDSU continues its clean plan, as the team has yet to receive a yellow or red card this season.
Senior Kat Donovan made one save en route to her fourth win of the season.
South Dakota State improves to 4-4-0 on the season.
North Dakota falls to 2-4-1.
Next up for the Jackrabbits is a trip to the state of Iowa to face Iowa State on Friday, Sept. 16, and Northern Iowa on Sunday, Sept. 18. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. in Ames and 1 p.m. in Cedar Falls.
The Jacks lead both series all-time, with a 2-1-1 record against ISU and a 3-0-2 record against UNI. SDSU met both of these teams last season, tying Northern Iowa 0-0 (2ot) and beating Iowa State 2-1. Braffet and Ferguson scored the two goals for the Jacks.
"I think we are playing pretty good soccer," said Wedemeyer. "We are moving the ball much better, passing better, creating lots of opportunities in the game. The difference is being able to score. Against Iowa State we will not have as many chances; we will have to take advantage of the opportunities that come our way."