SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State women's soccer team (2-3-0) will look for a second consecutive win as it wraps up a season-long three-match home stand at 5 p.m. Wednesday vs. Fresno Pacific (1-1-0).
With a match on Sunday and a mandatory off-day Monday, the squad has just one day to prepare for the Sunbirds.
"We have just one training before the game on Wednesday and Fresno Pacific is a team that can beat you on any given day," Sacramento State head coach Randy Dedini said. "We have to come in ready for that game. It's a short preparation but a good opportunity to see how we respond to that."
Dedini's team battled for a 1-0 win over San José State on Sunday despite not playing a particularly strong match. The Hornet head coach felt that his team actually performed much better on Friday, a 1-0 overtime loss to UNLV, than Sunday but was able to capitalize on one quality scoring chance as sophomore Alyssa Anderson slid home a feed from senior Raylene Larot to give the Hornets a win.
Anderson netted her third goal in her last three matches and tallied her Big Sky-leading second game-winning goal of the season. An all-Big Sky honorable mention selection as a freshman in 2012, Anderson is tied for second in the Big Sky with three goals and also leads the Hornets in shots on goal (4) despite playing in only four matches.
"We have to make sure we all rest and take care of our bodies because we are sore after these two games," said Anderson following Sunday's win in which the field temperature reached 100 degrees. "We have to be good in practice and maintain focus as a team to come back strong on Wednesday."
While Anderson has paced the Hornet offense, Sacramento State's play on the other half of the field led by starting defenders Kassi Anast, Melissa Gomez, Alexa Heinzer, and McKenna Swanson and goalkeeper Kimberly Mata has continued to improve throughout the season. The Hornets have allowed one or fewer goals in four of five matches this season and earned their first shutout on Sunday.
Mata ranks second in the Big Sky in both saves (33, 6.60 per match) and save percentage (.825) and is fourth with a 1.37 goals against average. If you take away the Hornets 4-0 loss at Cal Poly, Mata has a 0.73 goals against average and an .875 save percentage with 21 saves in four other matches.
Fresno Pacific is in its final year of reclassifying from NAIA to NCAA Division-II and is playing a full D-II schedule in the Pacific West Conference this season. The team opened its season last weekend and scored a 3-0 home win over Cal State East Bay before losing 1-0 at Cal State Monterey Bay. The Sunbirds went 5-7-5 last season.
Following their mid-week match the Hornets will travel to Reno to play Nevada on Sunday. The match was originally scheduled to be played at 5 p.m. but has been moved up to 4 p.m. and relocated from the Nevada campus to Moana Soccer Field, located at 240 W Moana Ln in Reno.
The Wolfpack is 1-2-2 and will play at Portland on Friday before hosting the Hornets. Nevada recorded a pair of 0-0 ties last weekend in a tournament in South Dakota and has scored only two goals in five games while allowing just three. The team's lone win came over Eastern Washington on Hornet Field two weeks ago when its home match was moved to Sacramento due to smoke in the Reno area from the Rim fire.
Sacramento State will be facing Fresno Pacific for the first time in program history on Wednesday. The Hornets are far more familiar with Nevada, having faced the Wolfpack every season since 2003 and earning a 2-1 home win last season.