Sunday's matchup between unbeaten Summit League programs lived up to its billing on a chilly day at Fishback Soccer Park, as South Dakota State pulled off a 1-0 golden-goal victory over Denver with 22 seconds remaining in double overtime behind Leah Manuleleua's game-winner.
With the clock winding down after 109 minutes of scoreless action, SDSU's Karlee Manding took a throw-in from Annie Williams in Denver territory, found Manueleleua near the top of the box with a thru ball and the Manteca, California native took care of the rest, firing a shot past DU's Brittany Wilson into the left side of the net at 109:38.
"Any time we play Denver its an unbelievable challenge and a great soccer game," head coach Brock Thompson said. "Today was no different. We know that its going to come down a moment here or there, and I'm proud of our team for rising to the challenge in the second overtime.
"Aside from that moment, I thought our backs played extremely well, I thought our midfield did a great job of being able to deal with their consistent movement, and we were able to be pretty dangerous on the counter attack."
The Jackrabbits (8-4-1) improved to 3-0 in Summit League play with the win, moving atop the league standings while Denver (7-5-2, 3-1 Summit League) was dealt a heartbreaking loss.
The back-and-forth affair saw countless momentum swings over the course of the game, with defensive play on both sides rising to the occasion in a physical battle.
All even after 90 minutes of regulation, both teams had scoring chances over the two golden-goal periods, but it was SDSU that broke through in the final minute of action to pull out the victory.
The Jacks finished the game with a 10-9 advantage in shots, pulling ahead on the game-winner.
Smither had six saves in her sixth shutout victory of the season.
Kastens led State with three shots, matching Manuleleua and Marisa Schulz with one shot each on goal, and Manding had the game-winning assist for her 12th point of the 2018 campaign.