Women's soccer plays its first Big Sky Conference home games of 2012 this weekend.
Women's soccer plays its first Big Sky Conference home games of 2012 this weekend.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's soccer team will play its first Big Sky Conference home games of the 2012 season this weekend when Eastern Washington and Montana visit Hornet Field.

The Hornets (3-5-2, 1-1 Big Sky) will meet the Eagles at 4 p.m. on Friday before battling the Lady Griz at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

You can follow along with both games via LIVE STATS and on twitter @HORNETSPORTS.

Sacramento State is coming off a split last weekend when head coach Randy Dedini's squad defeated North Dakota, 1-0, on Friday before falling, 2-0, at Northern Colorado. Jordan Carlberg scored for the Hornets against UND. As a team, Sacramento State has scored 11 goals on 145 shots while allowing 16 goals on 153 attempts. Senior Elece McBride, who is second in the conference with 33 shots, leads the Hornets with three goals while Carlberg has a team-best two assists. After Dedini used a goalkeeper rotation with Shelby Tomasello and Kimberly Mata during non-conference play, Tomasello started both games last weekend. This season the senior goalie has 37 saves with a 1.37 goals against average and three shutouts. 

Eastern Washington also split last weekend, but at home rather than on the road like the Hornets. Head coach George Hageage's team lost 1-0 to Weber State on Friday but responded with a 2-1 win over Idaho State. EWU overcame a very early deficit as Idaho State's Amanda Ellsworth scored just 22 seconds into the game. Kasey McNeill and Cassie Black scored for the Eagles. Black leads the team with five goals and is tied with Haley Stading with a team-best two assists. Keepers Nathalie Schwery and Jamie Walker have split duties in goal this year, however, Schwery started both games last weekend. She sports a 1.04 goals against avearge with 41 saves and two shutouts in five starts this season. As a team, EWU has scored 12 goals on 115 shots while allowing 15 goals on 177 attempts. 

Montana, which won the Big Sky Tournament last season to claim the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, is off to a good start in 2012 under second-year head coach Mark Plakorus. The Lady Griz are one of just three Big Sky teams with a .500 record or better and are undefeated in conference play after a 1-1 draw with Idaho State and a 1-0 win over Weber State at home last weekend. Montana has lost just once in its last seven games (4-2-1). Overall, the Lady Griz have scored 10 goals on a conference-high 161 shots while allowing 12 goals on 117 tries. Erin Craig, who leads the Big Sky with 37 shots, has a team-best four goals while three players are tied with a team-high two assists. Keeper Kristen Hoon has started all 11 games with a 1.04 goals against average, 35 saves and a conference-best five shutouts. 

Last year Sacramento State defeated both Eastern Washington and Montana by 1-0 scores. However, those two victories were the only conference wins for the Hornets in 2011. Midfielder Victoria Ramirez, now a senior, scored in the 14th minute to knock off the Lady Griz while forward Jordyn Rolling, now a junior defender, scored in the 64th minute at EWU.

Sacramento State and Eastern Washington first met in 1998 and the Hornets hold a 9-4-1 record against the Eagles. Sacramento State has won the last two meetings by 1-0 scores and the Hornets have won five of the last six meetings (5-0-1). Sacramento State has not had similar success against Montana. The Hornets are 5-11-3 against the Lady Griz since first meeting in 1995. Montana won nine of the first 10 matches between the two teams but it has gone much better in recent years. Since 2004, the Hornets are 4-2-3 against the Lady Griz, including a penalty kick decided win in the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament in 2006. 

Sacramento State is tied with four teams for third in the Big Sky standings. The Hornets, along with Portland State and Weber State, started the season at 1-1 on the road while Eastern Washington was split at home last weekend. Northern Arizona played one game last weekend won against Southern Utah. Northern Colorado, the reigning Big Sky Conference regular season champion, is in first after defeating Sacramento State and Portland State last weekend while Montana, the reigning Big Sky Conference Tournament champion, is in second after playing Idaho State to a 1-1 draw and defeating Weber State, 1-0. 

No. Big Sky Women's Soccer Standings
Big Sky Record Points Overall Record
1 Northern Colorado
2-0 6 4-4-2
2 Montana 1-0-1 4 5-4-2
3 Sacramento State 1-1 3 3-5-2
  Northern Arizona 1-0 3 3-5-2
  Eastern Washington 1-1 3 4-5-1
  Portland State 1-1 3 3-6-1
  Weber State 1-1 3 3-8
8 Idaho State 0-1-1 1 5-4-1
9 Southern Utah 0-1 0 1-5-1
10 North Dakota 0-2 0 2-6-1