Right fullbacks aren't exactly known to be goal scorers on the soccer pitch. But Saturday was Senior Day, and Brianna Kulla wanted something to remember.
The University of Jamestown senior back buried her first goal of 2019 a mere 52 seconds into the action hosting Doane University at the Jimmie turf field. UJ wrapped up the regular season at 12-6 overall with a 5-1 victory over the Tigers.
The Jimmies, who finished third in the Great Plains Athletic Conference standings, will host Concordia University (Nebraska) in the GPAC tournament quarterfinals next Thursday at 7 p.m.
"Pretty emotional, I guess," said Kulla, describing her Senior Day -- and third career -- goal. "It usually doesn't happy very often. It was a good way to start the game and set the tone a bit."
A proper winger, senior Nicole Morrison, and center midfielders Kamryn Fiscus and Ryley Bedard did the rest of UJ's offensive damage, which has been a unit gaining strength throughout the season. Morrison's dribbling sent Doane senior defender Jordyn Knipp buckling to the turf in the 21st minute, as she then fired far post and into the mesh to put Jamestown out front for good at 2-1.
Doane briefly leveled the score at 1-1 in the 14th.
"That was a good goal," said UJ coach Nick Becker of Morrison's tally. "Our first two goals were really good ... it was good for the seniors to score on Senior Day."
The production from Fiscus and Bedard is noteworthy. Fiscus, just a freshman, tallied twice, once in the 31st to put UJ up 3-1 at the half and again in the 56th. Bedard, a junior, assisted Kulla's early goal with a short corner, while also assisting Fiscus' brace and capping the scoring with her second goal of the season in the 68th.
"I think we work really well together," explained Bedard of her partnership with Fiscus in the midfield. "She's more attacking and I defend a little bit more, but it's a good balance between us I feel.
"The goal's been waiting to come and it finally did, so I'm excited about that."
Fiscus has produced a team-leading seven goals, while Bedard leads the Jimmies in assists with six. Jamestown outshot the Tigers 16-2 with 11 shots on target.
"It's exciting when you actually get players that aren't forwards to score," Becker said. "They're starting to make the right runs to get into the right place at the right time, and they're showing more composure."
Defensively, the Jimmies have allowed just four goals over their last eight matches, rolling to seven wins and a date with Concordia (6-10-2) in the playoffs back on the home turf. The Jimmies just defeated the Bulldogs 1-0 in Seward, Nebraska, seven days ago.
"I think we're feeling pretty ready for this," Kulla said. "It'll be nice to host and be able to play on our home turf and have that advantage."
"You can't be complacent," Becker added. "We know that allowing that goal (Saturday) is not something we like, so there's always something to grow on. For us, I think we could've scored a couple more goals, too. So, yeah, there are some good things to say, but at the same time there's always work to be done. We're looking forward to next week."
University of Jamestown 5, Doane University 1
DU 1 0 -- 1
UJ 3 2 -- 5
1. UJ, Brianna Kulla (Ryley Bedard), 1st minute; 2. DU, Abby Maxwell (unassisted), 14th; 3. UJ, Nicole Morrison (Penelope Hoppe), 21st; 4. UJ, Kamryn Fiscus (Katie Bakker), 31st; 5. UJ, Fiscus (Bedard), 56th; 6. UJ, Bedard (Sydney Hollingsworth), 68th.
Goalkeeper saves: DU, Maddy Meredith 6. UJ, Alex Nowka 0-X--0, Deisy Rodriguez X-1--1.
Records: Jamestown 12-6, 10-2 GPAC. Doane 5-10-1, 1-9-1.