DENVER, Colo. (SDSU) – Kayla Anderson’s first-career game-winner couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment for No. 2 South Dakota State (16-3-1) as the Jacks seized a 1-0 victory in the 107th minute of Thursday’s Summit League semifinal over No. 3 Omaha (9-8-2).
With time winding down on the second overtime, Laney Murdzek played a beautiful ball forward down the right line to Maya Hansen. Hansen sent a cross between a pair of Maverick defenders to a waiting Anderson in the center of the box who careened the ball on goal with her right foot.
The Omaha keeper appeared to have made the initial save, but the back spin on the ball allowed it to trickle over the line and in, sending SDSU to its second Summit League final in the last three seasons.
Jocelyn Tanner (12-3-1) needed only two saves to record a clean sheet and secure SDSU’s school-record 16th win of the season. It marked Tanner’s ninth shutout of the year and the Jackrabbits’ 11th total.
The first half was slow-going as both sides totaled only six shots between them, but SDSU came out firing in the second half, out-shooting Omaha 13-4 in the period.
Omaha looked to be the aggressors in the first overtime period after the Mavericks sent a dangerous header on goal in the 94th minute that required Tanner’s full attention.
Both sides registered two shots in overtime, but it was the Jacks who emerged victorious from the contest after Anderson’s game-winner.
- South Dakota State will make its seventh appearance in the Summit League title game and its second in the last three seasons. The Jacks’ last championship game appearance was in 2019 when they defeated No. 1 Denver in penalty kicks, also as a No. 2 seed.
- The win marked SDSU’s program-record 16th win of the season. The previous best of 15 victories was set in 2008 and tied in 2019. SDSU advanced to the NCAA Tournament in both seasons.
- SDSU improves to 8-5-6 all-time and 4-1-2 as the No. 2 seed in the Summit League Tournament. The Jacks are now 3-2-2 against the No. 3 seed in the tournament. Looking ahead to the championship contest, SDSU is 2-0-1 all-time against the top seed at the Summit League Tournament.
- Kayla Anderson’s golden goal was her first goal of the season and her first-career game-winner.
- Maya Hansen’s assist increased her career point total to 65, tied for the third-most in program history.
- Freshman Laney Murdzek now has 12 points this season, with four goals and four assists.
- The Jackrabbits have claimed five victories in their six total championship appearances, with four of those requiring penalty kicks. This will be the second time SDSU and Denver have met in the title game with the Jacks winning both meetings on penalties.
No. 2 South Dakota State will square off with No. 1 Denver in Saturday’s championship game at 3 p.m. (CT) with a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line.