Nov. 2—SEWARD, Neb. — The University of Jamestown's reign at the top of the GPAC has come to an end, meaning the Jimmies will be the No. 7-seed and will play Concordia University (Neb.) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Bulldogs' Bulldog Stadium.
"For us, we plan on getting our roles right and we feel good about winning," Jimmies head coach Nick Becker said. "I think the last time we played them at home, we had a good game plan, we outshot them, we just made a little mental mistake defensively and they went the other way. So, I think we feel good about getting another chance at them."
The game ends a streak of two consecutive years that the Jimmies have won the conference. In the 2020-21 season, the Jimmies went into the conference tournament as the No. 5 seed and won two consecutive games to take on then No. 3-seeded Concordia in the championship game. The Jimmies lost that game 2-1, but Becker said he is hoping his team can go on another Cinderella run.
"It's been a couple years since we've been there," Becker said. " ... We were the five seed and we went to the four seed and won and then we played the one seed and won. We went to the conference final and so the problem is there is no one on the team that was in that moment ... I think it's always fine to have a little pressure off your shoulders and be the underdog and go in. You can only go up and make it a battle. I don't think it's necessarily a negative thing and it's the postseason, everything resets and the chance to win one game at a time."
The only player left from that team is Eve Hoppe.
The Jimmies are heading into this game with a 5-8-3 overall record and a 5-5-2 record in the GPAC. The Bulldogs are the No. 2-seed with a 12-3-3 overall record and an 8-1-3 record in the GPAC.
The Jimmies and Bulldogs have only played once this year with the Bulldogs getting a 1-0 win on Oct. 7. The only goal was scored by the Bulldogs' Kierstynn Garner, one of 19 goals the sophomore scored on the season. Despite the loss, the Jimmies outshot the Bulldogs 9-5.
"We just gotta keep her speed in check and make sure we are able to stay switched on to her at all times and try to keep the space behind the back line and the goalie smaller and be aware of that space, also put some pressure on the ball up the field," Becker said. "That was a mistake at home, we didn't have pressure on the ball and we forgot to drop and she ran in behind."
Although Garner is lethal in front of goal, Becker said his team's approach in this game is to dominate possession and try to prevent her from getting the ball while not forgetting about the 10 other players the Bulldogs will have on the field.
This season, the Jimmies have been led by Miarosa Gyllenswan's five goals. They have three players tied for the team lead with two assists. In net, the Jimmies have been led by Tea Pence who has played in 16 games compiling a 1.62 goals against average and a .779 save percentage.
Becker said he is hoping his team can get the first win and use that to build their confidence through the rest of the tournament.