LINCOLN, NE (SDSU) — South Dakota State held a first-half lead over No. 15 Nebraska on Friday at Barbara Hibner Field, but the Huskers scored three unanswered goals to complete a 5-2 victory over the Jackrabbits in the First Round of the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship.
The match was played in front of 2,044 spectators, the second largest crowd at Nebraska’s soccer stadium.
SDSU jumped out in front in the very early stages of the matchup.
The Jackrabbits’ Katelyn Beulke sent a pass to the midfield circle to Avery Murdzek who quickly dished a pass down the right flank to Kayla Anderson. SDSU’s senior forward then passed it back to Murdzek who streaked down the middle of the pitch. Murdzek tapped a quick touch past a Husker defender and she calmly booted a shot past the charging Nebraska goalkeeper. The goal for the Jackrabbit midfielder came in the second minute and put SDSU ahead 1-0 momentarily.
Not even three minutes later, Nebraska tied the score at 1-1, on a goal by Sadie Waite.
The two sides battled for the next 19 minutes before another change in the margin. SDSU was fouled and had a free kick opportunity in the 24th minute. Murdzek set up for the kick and struck a cross into the box. The Husker keeper couldn’t corral the ball and SDSU’s Taryn Hettich was left unmarked and easily kicked the ball into the back of the net to put the Jackrabbits up 2-1.
The Jacks held an advantage for 10 minutes before the Huskers equalized. Waite again tallied a goal for Nebraska in the 34th minute, then All-Big Ten First Team performer Sarah Weber scored in the 39th minute as the Huskers eventually went to halftime with a 3-2 edge.
Nebraska put the game out of reach early in the second half. Weber made it a brace on the night for her by finding the back of the net in the 48th minute, followed by a 58th minute goal for Big Ten Forward of the Year Eleanor Dale, extending the Husker lead to 5-2.
The Jackrabbits had multiple chances in the second half, but were unable to get on the board again as the Huskers won to advance to the next round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Nebraska outshot South Dakota State 15-12 and had a 9-6 edge in shots on goal.
- SDSU senior goalkeeper Jocelyn Tanner made four saves, all of which came in the first half.
- Murdzek had a team-high seven shots for the Jackrabbits and match-high four shots on goal. Beulke was the other lone Jackrabbit with multiple shots as she recorded two.
- The Jackrabbits received 90-minute appearances on the pitch from Murdzek, Hettich, Reagan Anderson, Katherine Jones and Hayley Lindaman. Maleah Evans played a reserve-best 55 minutes.
- The Jackrabbits fell to 1-6-1 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. SDSU is now 0-2 against Nebraska.
- South Dakota State’s 2023 season came to an end on Friday as the Jackrabbits closed their slate out with a 13-4-3 record in their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance.