SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State women's soccer team (0-1-0) returns to the pitch this weekend with a pair of challenging road matches. The Hornets will battle Cal Poly (2-0-0) at 7 p.m. Friday in San Luis Obispo before moving inland to play at CSU Bakersfield (1-1-0) at 1 p.m. Sunday.
"Practice has been really good this week; we stepped up our intensity as a whole," sophomore forward Kassidy Kellogg said. "We're playing faster and more intense and pushing ourselves to be better. We're working on the tempo of the game and trying to keep it high."
The Hornets are coming off a 1-0 loss in their season opener last Friday at UC Davis. The Aggies scored a first half goal and were able to limit Sacramento State to just one shot on goal for the contest despite playing a man down for the entire second half. The squad learned from its season-opening disappointment and had a week to work on key areas of improvement.
"We were a little bit slow at Davis and we watched film and realized that it was bad," Kellogg said. "We know from the way we have been practicing this week that it will be better. To get some momentum this week and feel like we are playing well would really help us going into our first home games, and this weekend should be a good test for us."
Though game pace was an issue for the Hornets against the Aggies on the offensive end, defensively the team was solid throughout the season opener. UC Davis had a 12-5 shot advantage overall but put just four tries on net and did not have many quality scoring chances. Junior goalkeeper Kimberly Mata made three saves for the match and the Hornet defense permitted only four total shots in the second half.
Sacramento State will face a tough test to open the week when it faces Cal Poly on Friday. The Mustangs have totaled eight goals in just two games, defeating Loyola Marymount 3-0 and earning a 5-2 win at CSU Bakersfield. Cal Poly sophomore forward Elise Krieghoff scored four goals against the Roadrunners and totaled five goals and one assist in the team's first two games, earning Big West Offensive Player of the Week honors. The Mustangs have attempted 35 shots in two games and goalkeeper Alyssa Giannetti has stopped 11 of 13 shots on goal.
CSU Bakersfield opened its season with a 4-1 home win over Southern Utah before its setback against Cal Poly. The Roadrunners play their first four matches of the season at home and will host another Big Sky team, Northern Arizona, on Friday night. CSUB has a potent scorer of its own in senior Erica Shelton, who already has three goals and one assist this season. The Roadrunners went 6-11-2 last season and were picked to finish fourth this year in their first season in the WAC.
The Hornets hosted Cal Poly last year, taking a 4-1 defeat, and haven't played in San Luis Obispo since 2004. Sacramento State is 2-1 all-time against CSU Bakersfield but dropped a 2-1 decision the last time the teams met in 2010.