The South Dakota State women's soccer team opens the 2012 campaign on the road at Green Bay and Wisconsin...
SDSU opens the regular season after two exhibition defeats last week. The Jacks faced Minnesota and Nebraska, both at home, in the friendly contests. SDSU lost to Minnesota 4-0 in a custom format before falling in the exhibition finale to Nebraska 2-0.
The Jacks return five starters and 12 additional letterwinners from the 2011 squad, while adding nine freshmen and one transfer student-athlete. The Jacks graduated Summit League Offensive Player of the Yearand four other all-conference selections in (first team), (first team), (first team) and (second team).
Christa Nyblom, senior midfielder and team captain, played in all 20 games for South Dakota State (19 starts) and is the top returner in goals (5), points (11), shots (36) and shots on goal (21). She also scored three game-winning goals, second-best on the team.
Stéphanie Bérubé, senior defender, played in 19 games for the Jacks (19 starts), scoring one goal on four shots. Aside from Nyblom, she is the only returning all-conference selection from 2011 (second team).
The Jacks return three of four starters from one of the best defensive lines in school history. In addition to Bérubé, Courtney Higgins and Megan Huegli anchor a back line that posted a consecutive scoreless minutes streak of 832:23, the 12th-longest streak in NCAA history.
SDSU welcomes 10 newcomers to the roster, fourth-most in the league.
Head coach Lang Wedemeyer leads the Jackrabbits in his 13th season. Wedemeyer compiled a 112-88-26 record in his first 12 seasons.
The South Dakota State women's soccer team tabbed for second in the 2012 Summit League Women's Soccer Preseason Poll.
The Jacks received four of the nine first-place votes and finished with 59 total points, two points behind league-favorite Oakland. The vote consists of the league’s nine head coaches.
SDSU finished second in the preseason poll for the fourth straight season, tying North Dakota State for second entering 2011. This season, the Jacks are alone in second by 12 points, followed by Kansas City (47) and NDSU (46).
THIS WEEK'S COMPETITION
Green Bay Phoenix – The Jackrabbits square off against the Phoenix for the sixth time in school history. SDSU leads the all-time series 3-2-0, having won the past three meetings.
The game serves as the regular season opener for both teams.
Last season, SDSU and Green Bay went down to the wire before the Jacks scored the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute.
Senior forwarddrove deep into opposing territory, drawing multiple defenders, before slipping through and crossing the ball to an unmarked . Jurgens, a sophomore, took full advantage, beating the goalkeeper with her shot and giving the Jackrabbits a 1-0 victory.
The Jacks controlled the ball for most of the first half, but failed to find the back of the net. SDSU recorded eight shots and two shots on goal in the first half, while holding Green Bay to four shots, none of which were on goal.
The second half was more of the same, as the Jacks out shot the Phoenix 9-3, including a 2-1 shot on goal advantage. SDSU also held a 5-0 corner kick advantage for the game.
The ninth and final shot for the Jackrabbits proved to be enough, as Jurgens found the elusive goal that SDSU had been seeking.
Live statistics for Friday's game are available via GameWatcher.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. on Friday.
Wisconsin Badgers – Following the Friday clash with Green Bay, the Jacks face the Badgers for only the second time in school history. The two teams played to a tie (0-0, 2ot) in 2010.
The Jackrabbits had only six shots compared to Wisconsin’s eight. Both teams tallied four shots on-goal.
Goalkeeper Elisa Stamatakis, a freshman at the time, minded the net for all 110 minutes. She managed four saves en route to her second career shutout.
Live statistics for Sunday's game are available via GameTracker.
Game time is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
LAST WEEK'S COMPETITION
Minnesota Golden Gophers - The South Dakota State women's soccer team lost to Minnesota 4-0 in its exhibition game on Wednesday night...
The two teams played a customized format of three 30-minute periods as opposed to the regular-season format of two 45-minute periods.
Minnesota, playing without numbered uniforms, scored five minutes into the first period to take an early lead. The team scored two more goals in the first period, the third hitting the back of the net as time expired.
Freshman Alyssa Brazil recorded the Jacks only shot in the first period.
The second period started in similar fashion, as the Golden Gophers scored around the five-minute mark to increase the lead to four goals.
SDSU played the first period and the first half of the second period against a stiff wind before changing ends.
Both teams went scoreless for the remainder of the period with Minnesota leading 4-0.
In the third period, the two teams went scoreless. Freshman goalkeeper Blaklee McMillen entered the game for the final 20 minutes and made three saves.
Sophomore Jordyn Smith registered the second shot of the game for the Jacks, the first and only on goal.
The game ended 4-0 in favor of the Golden Gophers.
Nebraska Cornhuskers - The South Dakota State women's soccer team dropped its second and final exhibition game to Nebraska 2-0 on Friday...
It was a physical game, as the two teams combined for 24 fouls and three yellow cards.
The Jacks and Cornhuskers were held scoreless through the first half. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Elisa Stamatakis made three saves before being lifted at halftime.
Nebraska scored its first goal about four minutes into the second half on a rebound in front of the net. The Cornhuskers sent a free kick into the box, which was batted around before finding the back of the net.
The game was scoreless for over 20 minutes before Nebraska scored its second goal on a shot from the outside corner of the penalty box.
NEXT UP – SDSU travels to the Kansas Invitational Tournament to face UNLV and Georgia.
The Jacks take on the Rebels on Friday, Aug. 24, at 2:30 p.m. and the Bulldogs on Sunday, Aug. 26, at 10:30 a.m.
Both serve as the first meeting between the two schools.