South Dakota State women's soccer erupted for three goals in the opening fifteen minutes of action and never let up, winning its sixth-consecutive game in 5-1 fashion over Oral Roberts on Sunday afternoon.
The Jackrabbits (8-4-1, 3-0-0 Summit League) had 18 shots on the day, just missing a third consecutive game with 20-plus shots while limiting ORU (5-9-1, 0-3-0 Summit League) to seven shots to send the Golden Eagles to their fourth consecutive loss.
"I thought the bookends of the game were great," head coach Lang Wedemeyer said. "I thought we started exceptionally well and I thought we finished exceptionally well. Oral Roberts is a good team that put some pressure on us and they never gave up, so credit to our girls to weather that storm and get the win."
Nicole Hatcher was the catalyst in the Jacks' first three goals, notching a score and two assists in the opening frame. She finished the game with four points and four total shots, putting two on goal.
Tori Poole matched Hatcher in points to lead the team, scoring her second and third goals of the season for her first career multi-goal game. Poole had just two shots, scoring on both over 68 minutes played.
Shelby Raper (two shots, both on goal) and Shayna Stubbs (two shots, one on goal) added SDSU's other two goals.
Maggie Smither (6-0-1) earned the win in net, starting and recording one save before Nicole Inskeep closed out the game with a complete second half played, allowing one goal with one save.
Looking to strike first, Hatcher controlled the ball on the right side of the box just inside the fifth minute, beating a defender and chipping it past the keeper to give SDSU a 1-0 lead.
Soon after, the Jacks extended their lead to two on Raper's second goal of the year. Near the seven-minute mark, Hatcher fired a cross from nearly 30 yards out into mid-box, where a charging keeper was fooled as Raper gathered the pass and found the net.
SDSU saw its lead reach three just less than six minutes later as Tori Poole broke through the defense off another assist from Hatcher. Hatcher's ball found Poole inside the box, and from 15 yards fired to the upper left corner, beating ORU's keeper, Ryliegh Bohnenstiehl.
Defensively, the Jacks performed to near-perfection once again in the first, holding ORU without a shot for the opening 40-plus minutes and allowed just three shots in the first frame. On the other side of the ball, SDSU had eight shots at the break for a five-shot advantage.
ORU took advantage of a penalty kick situation in the 57th to cut in the Jackrabbit lead. Inskeep came up with a stop on Alexia Herrera's penalty kick effort, but a one-touch off the deflection gave Sierra Beall her first goal of the season.
That two-goal deficit was short-lived, however, as the Jacks scored two more before the end of the game to finish with a four-goal advantage.
Poole recorded her second goal of the day at 67:41 , scoring unassisted after some fancy footwork allowed her to find an open net from three yards out. On the right side of the box, Poole dribbled past a pair of defenders and a challenging ORU goalkeeper before steering her shot into the net.
Just three minutes later, SDSU added its fifth of the day behind Stubbs, who gathered a deflection off her own shot attempt and rang true on her second, making it 5-1 at 70:58.
South Dakota State hits the road for a pivotal stretch of three games in the Summit League title hunt, opening trip with two rivalry games at South Dakota and North Dakota State, Oct. 14 and 16. The Jackrabbits do not return to Fishback Soccer Park until Oct. 23 to open the final weekend of regular season play.
• Hatcher has now recorded a point in six straight games, matching SDSU's school record for points in consecutive games set twice by Diana Potterveld in 2015.
• SDSU's three-game shutout streak came to an end when ORU scored in the second half, but not before SDSU strung together over 328 minutes of scoreless play on the defensive end.
• South Dakota State is now 8-0-1 in games it scores first.
• Over the past three games, SDSU has outshot its opponents, 62-14, combined. The Jacks have won the shot battle in four straight games and seven times this season.
• SDSU has now scored three or more goals in five games this season. The five goals scored against ORU is the most since Sept. 22, 2013 when the Jacks defeated North Dakota, 3-0. Five goals is the most in Summit League play for SDSU since Oct. 26, 2012 in a 6-1 win at Omaha.
• The Jackrabbits' six-game winning streak is Sept. 22 to Oct. 19, 2013 when the Jacks won six straight as well. The longest winning streak in program history is 10, set during the 2008 season.
From the Coach
Wedemeyer on Nicole Hatcher's six-game point streak ...
"We always knew that she was capable of being a game-changer, so it was always about getting her to believe it to and do the things in the game that highlighted her strengths. She's really coming into her own."