SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's soccer team has a pair of exhibitions games over the weekend in preparation for its regular season opener Aug. 19 vs. CSU Bakersfield.
The Hornets play at Fresno State at 7 p.m. Friday before returning home to host the Sacramento Storm at 1 p.m. Sunday at Hornet Field. The game against the Storm will have free admission.
The team opened practice last Thursday and has trained all but two days since then. With a record 13 seniors and seven juniors, who between them have 43 combined years of experience playing at Sacramento State, the veteran team has high expectations for itself after reaching the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament last season.
Two preseason games will provide the Hornets with a chance to face live competition and compete both at home and on the road. Sacramento State faced Fresno State in regular season games in each of the last three seasons and in 12 of the last 13 years dating back to 2003. The Hornets went 1-1-1 against the Bulldogs in the last three meetings with a 2-1 win in Fresno in 2014. The Bulldogs, who returned nine starters after finishing 5-12-1 last season, earned a 1-0 win at Hornet Field in 2015.
The Sacramento Storm plays in the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) and has a roster comprised of college players, national team players, and former pro team players, including several former Hornets. The team plays its home matches at Cosumnes River College and Elk Grove high school. The Hornets beat the Storm, 1-0, in their last exhibition meeting in 2014.
- Sacramento State returns all 11 starters and has a program-record 13 seniors going into the 2016 season.
- The squad also has seven juniors as 20 of the 29 team members are from the junior and senior classes.
- The Hornets lost only one senior following the 2015 season and return 21 total letter winners.
- Last season the Hornets qualified for the Big Sky Tournament for the first time since 2010 and defeated Eastern Washington in the quarterfinal round.
- The win was the team's fifth straight postseason victory before losing to second-seeded Northern Colorado in the semifinals.
- Sacramento State's five regular season Big Sky wins in 2015 were the most in program history.
- The 2015 team had three players earn all-Big Sky honors with a second team selection for forward Kayla Collins.