FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State Soccer is set to hit the road for the first time this season in Summit League play, as the Bison will travel south of the border to Brookings and then Vermillion for a pair of games at the top of the league standings.
The Bison take on South Dakota State, who enter the week first in the standings, on Friday, October 15. Kickoff with the Jackrabbits is slated for 6 p.m. at Fishback Soccer Park in Brookings. NDSU is then slated to take on South Dakota on Sunday, October 17. The Bison and Coyotes, who enter the week tied for third in the standings, are set for a 1 p.m. start at First Bank & Trust Soccer Complex in Vermillion.
How Sweet It Is!
In thrilling fashion, NDSU defeated rival North Dakota 2-1 last Sunday, as Alicia Nead scored a 90th minute winner on Homecoming and Senior Day. Senior Brookelyn Dew scored the opening goal in the 2nd minute to give the Bison the early lead. UND would score in the 76th minute to tie the game at 1-1, before Olivia Lovick and Nead teamed up on to score the winner with 39 seconds left.
Algera Reaches Top 10 In All-Time Games Played for Bison
Danielle Algera is the active leader for NDSU in games played (78) and games started (71). The Winnipeg native reached the top 10 in games played for the Bison against North Dakota. She is just one start from the top 10 (72) in career starts for the green and yellow. Algera could climb to second in both categories this season. The senior surpassed 6,000 career minutes played in the Summit League opener against Oral Roberts. Algera is the is the active leader in minutes played with 6187.
Schneider Playing Every Minute for Bison
Earlier this season against Pacific, Ellie Schneider surpassed 3,000 career minutes as a Bison, one of just three active players on the list to do so (Danielle Algera and Brookelyn Dew). The senior is the only player for the Bison to play all 935 minutes this season, anchoring the backline with as a constant at one of the two center back positions.
Scoring On Her Senior Day
Brookelyn Dew, a Fargo native and lifelong Bison fan, had a senior day to remember, scoring in the second minute against rival North Dakota to give the Bison an early lead in an eventual 2-1 win. The goal was the seventh of the midfielder’s career and moved Dew into a tie with Olivia Lovick as the active Bison leader in points with 19 (7g, 5a).
First Start, First Point for Wacek
Sunday’s win over North Dakota saw several firsts for Bison players, including an immediate impact from Freshman Wacek, who made her first career collegiate start. With the start, Wacek had an influence on the game from the start and picked up her first career point less than two minutes in, as she crossed the ball into the box for a secondary assist on Brookelyn Dew’s goal 104 seconds in.
Thrilling First Goal for Nead
Sophomore Alicia Nead couldn’t have picked a better time to score her first collegiate goal. In the final minute of regulation, Nead took a pass from Olivia Lovick on a 2-on-1 break and chipped the diving keeper to put the Bison in front 2-1 over rival UND with just 39 seconds to go. For Nead, it was her first goal as a Bison and first game-winning goal as well. Earlier this month, she recorded her first career point with an assist in a 3-2 win for NDSU over Oral Roberts.
Hanley Joins Kallio as Active Bison Assists Leader
Sophomore Jess Hanley picked up the primary assist on the first goal of the game against UND. It was Hanley’s sixth career assist, which moved the sophomore into a tie with Kelsey Kallio for the active lead as a Bison. Hanley also has three career goals, sitting at 12 points as a sophomore.
About South Dakota State
South Dakota State will begin the week atop the Summit League Standings as one of just two undefeated teams, sitting at 3-0-1 in league play on 10 points. The Jackrabbits are 12-1-1 overall, but had a seven-game win streak snapped with a 1-1 tie at Oral Roberts on Sunday. SDSU opened up Summit League play with back-to-back two-goal victories over Western Illinois and St. Thomas before winning 1-0 at Kansas City in the first game last week. Their only loss on the season came at the hands of Creighton, 3-0, a team the Bison lost 2-0 to four days later.
South Dakota State is averaging 2.71 goals per game, led by Maya Hansen who has 11 goals on the season. The junior also has three assists, averaging at least one goal or assist per game in 2021. Four Jackrabbits have four goals each his season, while 14 total players have found the scoresheet. Jocelyn Tanner has started all four league games and 10 overall, allowing just six goals with six shutouts. She is posting a 0.59 goals against average and a .954 save percentage.
The Series with South Dakota State
While the Bison have been dominant against most of the Summit League, North Dakota State has been locked in a battle with the Jackrabbits trails over the last 21 years. Meeting for the 29th time on Thursday, the Bison trail in the all-time series 11-14-3.
South Dakota State has won the last three meetings between the two sides, all one-goal victories, including two times in Fargo this spring in the Dacotah Field Bubble. Prior to the current streak, the Bison had won two straight with back-to-back cleansheets, including a 2-0 victory in the Summit League Tournament semifinals in 2017. The Bison are 2-8-3 all-time against SDSU in Brookings.
About South Dakota
South Dakota enters the week tied with the Bison for third in the Summit League Standings on six points, but are 2-2 overall in league play. The Coyotes are 7-3-2 overall but have been up and down this season. South Dakota lost to Wyoming but then tied Creighton before a run of four-straight wins entering league play, including 1-0 defeats of Northern Iowa twice and Iowa State. After a 4-0 thrashing of St. Thomas to begin league play, South Dakota fell 2-1 to Western Illinois and 3-1 at Oral Roberts before a 1-0 win at Kansas City on Sunday. The Coyotes play North Dakota Thursday.
The Coyotes are led offensively by Alexis Mitchell, as the fifth year senior has five goals, including three in four Summit League games. Three other Coyotes have multiple goals. Emma Harkleroad has started all four league games for USD allowing five goals over league play with two shutouts. For the year, she has six shutouts, a 0.61 goals against average and a .891 save percentage.
The Series with South Dakota
The Bison and Coyotes will meet for the 19th time in series history on Sunday, with the Bison holding a commanding lead in the series, 13-4-1. NDSU had been dominant in the series until a pair of 3-0 defeats last season in the spring season matchups held in Vermillion. The losses snapped a three-game winning run for NDSU, who had just one loss in the previous eight clashes on the pitch.
NDSU won the first five games in the series before a seven-year break as the teams competed in different divisions. Following USD’s move to D1, the Bison had been 8-2-1 against the Coyotes until this past spring. Overall, the Bison are 4-3-1 against South Dakota in Vermillion.
Bison Have Recent History of Overcoming Slow Start
The Bison have won two of their last three, showing signs of optimism despite the slow start to the season. NDSU started the season 0-4 and closed conference play 0-6-1. However, the Bison started a season 0-4 one other time in the NCAA DI era, going 0-8 with just one goal in 2017. The Bison would turn things around over the second half of the year, going 7-2 over the final nine games of the regular season. The Bison closed 2017 regular season with a second-place finish in the Summit League standings. They also finished as the runner-up in the conference tournament.
On This Day
October 15 – The Bison and Jackrabbits will meet on the 21st anniversary of the first-ever meeting between the two teams. The series began with a 6-0 victory for the Bison in Fargo in 2000. NDSU is 3-1 all-time on October 15, including three-straight shutout victories, outscoring opponents 9-0. However, the Bison have not played on October 15 since a 1-0 win against Fort Wayne in 2006.
October 17 – This will be the first-ever meeting between NDSU and South Dakota on October 17, and the first game for the Bison on the day since 2014, a 1-0 win over SDSU in Fargo. NDSU is 3-2 all-time on the day, and recent Bison Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee Nicole (VandenBos) Hurt set a school record with five goals and 10 points in a 10-0 win for NDSU against Rocky Mountain in 1999.
On the Horizon
Following the trip to South Dakota, the NDSU Soccer team will return to Fargo for the final two home games of the 2021 season, beginning with a Thursday night clash against Omaha on October 22. Kickoff between the Bison and the Mavericks is slated for 6 p.m. at Dacotah Field in the 17th all-time meeting in the series.
*Ben Dishong, NDSU Athletics