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By Troy Maroney / Special to The Forum, Published November 06 2010

College women's soccer: Bison advance with win

BROOKINGS, S.D. – It was fitting that Friday’s final match of the Summit League soccer semifinals between South Dakota State and North Dakota State went to penalty kicks.

After all, the first semifinal went the way of a shootout – with fourth-seeded Western Illinois winning 5-4 in goals over No. 1 seed Oakland – after playing to a 1-1 draw.

Considering the Jacks and Bison were the middle seeds of the tournament; owned identical 6-2-1 league records and had just played to a narrow 2-1 Bison win on Oct. 23 – two playing to a 1-1 draw wasn’t a surpise.

But the Bison prevailed

4-3 in penalty kicks to advance to Sunday’s noon championship match against Western Illinois at Fishback Soccer Park in Brookings.

“It’s a great rivalry, it’s a great matchup,” said North Dakota State head coach Pete Cuadrado. “We’ve been battling back and forth the whole time that I’ve been at NDSU and it’s obviously fun to come out on this side of it.”

Kaitlin Justice scored an unassisted goal in the 22nd minutes to get the Jacks got on the board first and that lead held until NDSU’s Michelle Gaffaney put back a rebound in the 54th minute to tie it at 1-all.

“We’ve been in that situation a lot this year; we’ve come back from 1-0 deficits a ton this year and that’s what we told our team, ‘Just have to fight back,’ ” Cuadrado said. “I thought we got out of the gates a little slow today but at halftime it seemed like we regrouped and got back on the right track.

“The effort was there and it was a much better second half and overtime.”

After two scoreless 10-minute overtime periods, the match went to a shootout.

The Jacks and Bison each had five chances and NDSU came out with a 4-3 edge, earning the right to advance.

Abbey Stratton scored the winning goal for the Bison as goalkeeper Kalani Bertsch saved shots by SDSU’s Kelsey Ferguson and Danielle Neuhalfen for the one-goal edge. Christa Nyblom, JoLynn Janckila and Tory Schiltgen scored on penalty kicks for the Jacks while Marissa Wolfgram, Michelle Gaffaney and Quin Ryan scored for NDSU.

The Jacks outshot the Bison, 15-8, as Elisa Stamatakis finished with five saves for SDSU and Bertsch stopped seven Jackrabbit shots.

FIRST HALF: 1, SDSU, Justice, 21:58.

SECOND HALF: 2, NDSU, Gaffaney (Wolfgram), 53:59.

OVERTIME: No scoring.

SHOOTOUT: SDSU, Nyblom, Janckila, Schiltgen. NDSU, Wolfgram, Gaffaney, Ryan, Stratton.

SAVES: SDSU, Stamatakis 5. NDSU, Bertsch 7.