STILLWATER, O.K. (GoJacks.com) — South Dakota State women’s soccer saw its season come to an end Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, falling 1-0 to third-seeded Oklahoma State.
The Jackrabbits finish the year 15-5-2, matching the program’s top mark for wins while making their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance.
Maggie Smither, Shayna Stubbs, Carina McLennan, Darien Poelstra and Leah Manuleleua close their Jackrabbit careers with 48 wins in a four-year period, the second-most in school history.
Manuleleua and Maya Hansen each had two shots to pace the Jackrabbits, who fired 10 total shots with four on goal.
Smither tallied five saves at goalkeeper.
Defense fueled the Jackrabbit offense in the opening period, as SDSU turned a number of Cowgirl runs into an 8-7 advantage in first-half shots.
Cecilia Limongi’s effort in the 41st avoided a pack of Cowgirls as it made its way through the box, but Oklahoma State’s Dani Greenlee gathered it near the right-post for a save.
Scoreless at the break, South Dakota State saw Oklahoma State pick up the pressure in the second half, and though the Jacks turned a way a number of crosses into the box, the Cowgirls broke through at 68:33 off the foot of Claire Gantzer to take a 1-0 lead.
State searched for an equalizer over the final 22 minutes of action, coming close in the 80th off a corner kick and a Rachel Preston shot. A Cowgirl team save kept it out of the net, though, and OSU in the lead.
A final opportunity presented itself inside the final five minutes as Manuleleua sent a thru ball into the box from 30 yards out, but a Cowgirl defender sealed a charging Jackrabbit as OSU escaped with the win.