SDSU Soccer Stops Eastern Washington At Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium
Jacks Win 1-0
BROOKINGS, S.D. — South Dakota State women’s soccer overcame adversity and a pesky Eastern Washington team Friday night, pulling off a 1-0 victory over the Eagles at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
The Jackrabbits (4-3) saw the game relocated to the football stadium after heavy rains in the area left Fishback Soccer Park soggy. Eastern Washington brought a long-ball mentality to the turf field, and despite having to play one-down over the final 23 minutes, SDSU used a second-half score to claim the victory.
Leah Manuleleua continued her standout season on the offensive end with her second game-winning goal of the week, while Maureen Tolley netted her first-career assist.
Maggie Smither logged her fourth shutout of the season with 10 saves, while the Jackrabbit defense withstood 18 total Eagle shots, including 12 in the second half.
SDSU had five shots in the win, putting three on goal.
“First I have to say that I’m unbelievably blessed to coach at SDSU and have the administrative support to have this game played in this unbelievable facility,” head coach Brock Thompson said. “We kind of think it is normal around here, but it’s not. I’m humbled that we were able to get a game in, and I’m proud of our team’s effort tonight.
“I thought our players held their composure in a really difficult game to do that. I’m so proud of many people. Leah (Manuleleua) scored a goal, (Katie) Zabel played a great ball that won’t show up on the stat sheet, but set us up for a score. I’m really proud of Delaney Grant, who hasn’t played many minutes but stepped into the back line in this game and had to kind of see it out for us. I’m just really proud of our players for stepping up in a unique situation.”
The teams played relatively even in the opening half, with a near 50-50 split of possession. The Jacks had three chances in the first 45 minutes, including a fifth-minute effort from Leah Manuleleua that skipped just right of the net. EWU, on the other hand, fired six shots and put four on goal, only to be turned away each time by Smither.
The even play continued early in the second, but a foul and a yellow card for dissent set the Jackrabbits up with a free kick in the 61st. Kaitlin Zabel’s cross on the free kick found its way to Tolley in the box, and though Tolley’s initial shot was stopped by EWU’s keeper, Manuleleua fired the rebound into the net for her fourth score of the year.
Moments later the Jackrabbits found themselves facing adversity in the 67th when a red card was issued, but the team bonded together over the final 20-plus minutes to close out the win.
- South Dakota State is now 1-0-1 all-time against Eastern Washington and 4-0 at home this season.
- Friday’s contest was the first-ever soccer contest played at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
- Leah Manuleleua is one goal away from joining SDSU’s Top 10 record list for scores. Her eight game-winning goals is tied for second-most at State.
South Dakota State wraps up the weekend Sunday afternoon at Minnesota. The Jackrabbits and Golden Gophers kick at 1 p.m. in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
-Recap Courtesy SDSU Athletics