BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — Katelyn Beulke scored the eventual game-winning goal, while Avery Murdzek produced a brace, as the South Dakota State women’s soccer team defeated St. Thomas 3-0 on Sunday at Fishback Soccer Park. The match served as Senior Day for seven student-athletes with the Jackrabbits improving to 11-3 overall (4-1-0 Summit League) in front of 444 fans.
The Tommies (3-6-4, 1-4-1) were the aggressors on the attack early. St. Thomas had a 5-2 edge in shots in the opening 29 minutes as SDSU worked to find its groove.
The Jackrabbits gained control of the match in the 34th minute. Ellie Gusman dished the ball back to defender Kaycee Manding who crossed a pass into the box. A St. Thomas defender misplayed a header and the ball settled at the feet of Beulke. The SDSU freshman forward easily booteda shot past the goalkeeper in a 1-on-1 opportunity to give SDSU the advantage.
The first half was played to fairly even terms beyond the goal scored. The Tommies outshot the Jacks 6-4 while each team had multiple corner kicks.
SDSU put the game away in the second half. Murdzek sprinted past the St. Thomas defense and faced Tommies goalkeeper Olivia Rowe with another free lane towards the goal. Murdzek used a left-footed shot past the diving Rowe to lift the Jacks ahead 2-0 in the 68th minute.
Murdzek added another goal to the SDSU tally in the 75th minute. Taryn Hettich sent a pass wide to Gusman outside the left side of the box. Gusman worked her way around a Tommies defender and passed it to Murdzek. The Jackrabbit midfielder struck a shot that went through Rowe’s legs and into the net.
Thanks to the third goal of the day, SDSU was able to empty its bench and saw a variety of reserves see action. Twenty-two players saw the pitch for the Jackrabbits on Sunday with every position player competing for double-digit minutes.
“Today was a hard day from honoring some incredible people to just the way St. Thomas battled,” SDSU head coach Brock Thompson said. They made things really difficult for us. I’m proud of the way that we were able to get a little bit of footing in the game and start to play how we want to play. I thought everybody contributed at a high level.”
- South Dakota State finished the contest with a 16-9 edge in shots and an 8-3 clip in shots on goal over St. Thomas. The Jackrabbits also held an 8-2 edge in corner kicks.
- Murdzek led the Jackrabbits with a team-high five shots with all of them on goal. Her two-goal outing was the first for her since 2021 which came in a victory over Morningside.
- Kayla Anderson followed Murdzek with three shots, while Laney Murdzek registered two for the Jacks. Defenders Hayley Lindaman and Katherine Jones played a team-high 79 minutes. Reserves that led SDSU in minutes off the bench included Beulke (64) and Birna Bjornsdottir (50).
- The Jacks ranks second in The Summit League standings with 12 points and have qualified for the conference tournament. SDSU sits ahead of South Dakota (10), Omaha (9) and Oral Roberts (9) in the conference table. Denver, with its 5-0-1 record, has 16 points and paces the regular season standings.
South Dakota State hits the road for its next two matches. The Jackrabbits are slated to face Oral Roberts on Thursday, Oct. 19, in Tulsa. SDSU is scheduled to close the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 22, at Kansas City before heading into Summit League Tournament play.