Waite, Weber power Husker women’s soccer past SDSU in NCAA first round

Check out the Huskers' 5-2 win against the Jackrabbits in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament.
Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 10:04 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska Athletics) - Sadie Waite and Sarah Weber netted two goals in fifth-seeded Nebraska’s 5-2 win against South Dakota State in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament in front of 2,044 fans on Friday night, which is the second-largest crowd to ever see a match at Barbara Hibner Stadium.

Nebraska improves to 15-3-3 on the season, while South Dakota State concludes its season with a 13-4-3 overall record.

The Huskers posted a 15-12 advantage in shots over the Jackrabbits, including a 9-6 edge in shots on goal.

Waite and Weber each recorded a brace to propel the NU offense. Waite recorded her first-career brace with her third and fourth goals of the season, while Weber netted her third brace of the year to pick up her 13th and 14th scores on the year. Eleanor Dale pulled within one goal of tying the single-season school record with her NCAA-leading 26th goal of the season on Friday night.

Dale, Haley Peterson, Abbey Schwarz and Ella Guyott recorded one assist apiece, while Sami Hauk tallied four saves in goal.

The Jackrabbits opened the scoring in the second minute with a goal by Avery Murdzek. Kayla Anderson found Murdzek down the middle from the right side, who made one move past an NU defender and snuck her shot inside the left post off her right foot to give SDSU the 1-0 lead.

The lead wouldn’t last long, as Waite netted her third goal of the season in the fifth minute to even the match at one. Waite intercepted SDSU’s attempt to clear the ball about 10 yards outside the box, took two dribbles and fired a right-footed rocket into the back of the net to make it 1-1.

The Huskers nearly grabbed the lead in the ninth minute when Dale’s cross to Florence Belzile in the box set up a one-on-one opportunity for Belzile, but a diving save by SDSU’s Jocelyn Tanner kept the match locked at one.

SDSU grabbed its second lead of the night on a misplayed free kick by the NU defense in the 24th minute. Murdzek’s free kick from the right side into the box sailed past the NU goalkeeper, allowing Taryn Hettich to chip one into the wide-open goal to give the visitors a 2-1 advantage.

Waite scored her second goal of the night to level the match at two in the 34th minute. The sophomore collected SDSU’s attempt to clear out an NU corner kick and delivered a strike into the upper right-corner of the goal to pick up her first-career brace.

Nebraska took its first lead with Weber’s 13th goal of the season in the 39th minute. Peterson found Guyott down the right side, before Guyott’s cross into the box was received by Weber and struck into the back of the net from nearly 15 yards out.

The Huskers struck early in the second half to double the lead to 4-2 in the 48th minute behind a second goal from Weber. Dale won the battle for the ball and chipped the ball forward to Weber, who took two dribbles to her left and flicked a left-footed shot into the right side of the goal for her third brace of the season.

The lead grew to three for the Big Red in the 58th minute when Schwarz’s cross from the right side to near left post was headed in by Dale to give the Huskers a 5-2 lead.

The Jackrabbits nearly got a goal back in the 62nd minute, but a diving save by Hauk maintained the 5-2 advantage for the Huskers.

With the win, Nebraska advances to the second round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament to take on the winner of fourth-seeded Xavier and Tennessee. The Huskers’ matchup in the second round will take place on Friday, Nov. 17, with location and time to be determined.

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