SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After spending the first two weeks of the 2013 regular season on the road, the Sacramento State women's soccer team (1-2-0) comes home to host UNLV (3-1-0) at 2:30 p.m. Friday and San José State (0-4-0) at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Hornet Field. Both matches will be part of doubleheaders with the Hornet men's soccer team.
Friday's match will precede the Sacramento State men's soccer match vs. CSU Bakersfield while Sunday's match will follow men's soccer vs. Seattle. Sunday will be Sport Chalet Kids Day with free admission for youth with a voucher and a postgame autograph session with the Hornet players. Tickets for both matches are available here.
"Our main thing is that we continue to progress and get better through each game," Sacramento State head coach Randy Dedini said. "We know if we continue to improve in nonconference and through the end of the year we will have a good chance to win a championship. Its nice to win and that builds confidence but as long as the team is improving every week that's the most important thing."
Sacramento State picked up its first win of the season on Sunday in a 3-1 victory at CSU Bakersfield. After being shut out in their first two regular season games the Hornets got two goals from sophomore Alyssa Anderson and a goal from sophomore Kassidy Kellogg to get by the Roadrunners. Anderson and Kellogg were the top two returning scorers from the 2012 season in which both players were all-Big Sky selections as freshmen.
"It felt really good to get back out there and play my game," said Anderson, who returned last week after missing the Hornets' season opener against UC Davis while recovering from a wrist injury. "The win was really uplifting for our team so now we know that we can score and win games and that really boosted our confidence. "
Pairing that confidence with their first home matches should make for an exciting weekend. Adding in the extra energy that comes from doubleheaders with the Sacramento State men's soccer team only increases the team's enthusiasm.
"We're really excited to be home; we love our home field," Anderson said. "Watching the guys game before ours helps us mentally prepare, and there will be a lot of fans which makes us excited for our game."
Anderson leads the Big Sky with 1.00 goals per game after playing her first two contests last weekend. She is also tied for second overall in goals and is tied for first with 2.00 points per game. Senior Gabriela Trenton, who had two assists vs. CSU Bakersfield to double her career assist total, is tied for the Big Sky lead with her two helpers.
An early trend for the Hornets this season has been slow starts followed by strong second halves. Through three games Sacramento State has been outshot 28-9 in the first half but just 19-13 in the second half. The squad also has attempted just one corner kick in the first half but eight in the second half. A constant has been junior goalkeeper Kimberly Mata, who has kept her team close with double-digit saves in each half and an average of 7.00 saves per game, tied for the most in the Big Sky.
UNLV is 3-1-0 thus far in 2013, with one of its wins coming in a 5-0 whitewash of Big Sky member Portland State. The team also beat LIU Brooklyn last weekend to claim the UNLV Nike Invitational and had a 3-2 win at UC Riverside. Senior Jenn Wolfe is the reigning Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week and leads the conference with four goals and one assist for nine points. The Hornets took a 2-0 loss at UNLV last season.
San José State enters the week in search of its first win and will play at Cal Poly on Friday before coming to Sacramento. The Spartans have been outscored 12-3 through four matches and were shut out, 3-0, by No. 18 Cal in their last match. The team plays its first six matches of the season away from San Jose, though it did play one neutral site match. The Hornets and Spartans have met every season since 1995, with each team winning on its home field over the last two seasons.