None of coach Nick Becker's 15 freshmen experienced the surreal Halloween of 2018.
Just over a year ago, the University of Jamestown women's soccer team outshot Briar Cliff 24-5 in the quarterfinals of the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament and lost in penalty kicks on Halloween night. The Jimmies put that loss to bed Thursday hosting a GPAC quarterfinal at the Jimmie turf for a second straight year.
Freshman center midfielder Kamryn Fiscus buried Jamestown's second shot of the match into the mesh in the seventh minute. UJ cruised 4-0 over Concordia University and will play second-seeded Hastings College at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the GPAC semifinals in Hastings, Nebraska.
"They told me the story and I did not want that to happen," said Fiscus, who also assisted senior Sydney Hollingsworth in the 32nd to put UJ out front 2-0. "We went out, we worked hard. We've been training in this weather so we were used to it, and with a team like this, the support from the fans and the team on the bench, it was a great atmosphere."
Fiscus' team-leading eighth goal of the season, assisted by fellow freshman mid Katie Bakker, was scored in temperatures hovering around 20 degrees, but the Jimmies started hot and stayed on fire. Freshman center back Karlie Hintze headed yet another goal into the net off a Ryley Bedard corner kick in the 40th, as the Jimmies denied the Bulldogs a shot on goal in the first half leading 3-0.
Both Hintze and Hollingsworth have each tallied five times this fall.
"I told them to come out of the gates moving, get on them early and I think we did a pretty darn good job of that," said UJ coach Becker. "We were able to play all 24 players and I think they even stepped up and we got a goal late in the game."
The Jimmies defeated Concordia 1-0 in a much closer contest played in Seward, Nebraska, on Oct. 26, and frustrations mounted for the visitors late in the first half. Concordia senior midfielder Morgan Raska was shown a red card in the 45th after picking up a second yellow in the span of four minutes.
As a result, the Jimmies were able to utilize reserves while playing up 11 athletes to 10 over the entire second half. Senior captain Gabriella Diarte scored in the 90th minute of her final home match.
"Just to put the cherry on top," Diarte laughed.
The pain of last year's loss, which ended an 11-win season in gut-wrenching fashion, was real for Diarte and seniors Hollingsworth, Brianna Kulla, Holly Swan and Nicole Morrison.
"I think in the older girls it was in the back of our head, the younger girls didn't really experience it," Diarte said. "We reminded them throughout the season that any team can play, so we need to go out there and put it in the back of the net and continue to move forward."
The Jimmies eventually outpaced the Bulldogs 13-9 in total shots and 8-3 on attempts on goal. Reserve goalkeeper Deisy Rodriguez posted a pair of saves in the second half.
"Another step," Becker added. "I think the girls did a great job of rising to the occasion and not letting (Concordia) gain any momentum."
The Jimmies fell to 16th-ranked Hastings College 5-1 in Hastings on Oct. 5. Hastings topped Northwestern College 5-1 in its quarterfinal pairing Thursday.
"It'll be a tough game, but we'll put our heads down, have a good game plan and be ready to roll," Becker said.
Diarte added: "We got forward really well on this team, we need to continue to do that."
University of Jamestown 4, Concordia University 0
CU 0 0 -- 0
UJ 3 1 -- 4
1. UJ, Kamryn Fiscus (Katie Bakker), 7th minute; 2. UJ, Sydney Hollingsworth (Fiscus), 32nd; 3. UJ, Karlie Hintze (Ryley Bedard), 40th; 4. UJ, Gabriella Diarte (Cassandra Diaz), 90th.
Goalkeeper saves: CU, Lindsey Carley 3-1--4. UJ, Alex Nowka 0-1--1. Deisy Rodriguez X-2--2.
Yellow cards: CU, Morgan Raska 41st; Raska 45th.
Red cards: CU, Raska 45th.
Records: Jamestown 12-6, Concordia 6-10-2.
2019 Great Plains Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Postseason Tournament
#1 Midland 3, #8 Morningside 0.
#5 Briar Cliff 3, #4 Dordt 2.
#3 Jamestown 4, #6 Concordia 0.
#2 Hastings 5, #7 Northwestern 1.
Briar Cliff at Midland, time TBA.
Jamestown at Hastings, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 15, 2019
GPAC Postseason Championship
Semifinal winners at highest seed remaining, time TBA