SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For the first time in 15 years the Sacramento State women's soccer team (1-1-0) will leave the mainland and head to the island of Oahu for a pair of games this week. The Hornets will face Hawaii (1-0-1) at 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. Pacific) on Thursday night and take on BYU-Hawaii in Honolulu at 7:30 p.m. Pacific on Saturday.
The games are part of the Outrigger Soccer Classic Series #2. Fellow Big Sky member Idaho State is also involved in the tournament and will face the same two opponents. The Hornets and Bengals will not face each other in Hawaii as they will play later this year in a conference game in Sacramento on Oct. 9.
Sacramento State opened its season with a 2-0 home shutout of CSU Bakersfield last Friday and played defending Mountain West Tournament champion San José State tight before the Spartans scored a golden goal in the 105th minute of double overtime. The Hornets allowed just one total goal through their first two games of the year for the third time in the last five seasons.
The Defense Doesn't Rest
The Hornets did not allow a goal through their first 194 minutes played of the season. Sophomore goalkeeper Destiny Butcher, who was pressed into action just three minutes into the season opener after senior Molly McConnell sustained an injury, stopped the first 12 shots she faced, making seven saves against the Spartans. Sacramento State's defense allowed just 13 shots on goal through two games with many of them resulting in routine saves.
The Hornets last played at Hawaii in 2001, dropping a 2-1 decision, and played one other time in Honolulu in 1997. The Rainbow Wahine hosted the first Outrigger Soccer Classic Series last weekend and went 1-0-1, defeating Nevada 2-1 and playing Oregon to a 1-1 draw. Hawaii went 3-14-1 overall last season and was winless at 0-8-0 in the Big West. The team does return nine starters and 17 letter winners from 2015 including all-Big West second team selection Storm Kenui and leading scorer Dani Crawford. The Wahine scored just 17 goals in 18 games last season and were shut out seven times.
BYU-Hawaii is an NCAA Div. II school that competes in the Pacific West Conference and is located on the northern coast of Oahu in Laie, approximately 35 miles north of Honolulu. The Seasiders went 6-9-3 last season and had a preseason scrimmage against fellow Div. II school Tusculum on August 11, winning 3-0. All three goal scorers in that game were newcomers to the program, one of which is former Portland State player Mackenzie Bean. The team also has transfers from Ole Miss and Tennessee. Both BYU-Hawaii games at the tournament will be recorded as exhibitions for them.
Respect Your Elders
A year after qualifying for the Big Sky Tournament for the first time since 2010 - and winning a quarterfinal game - the Sacramento State roster is nearly unchanged in 2016. The team features a record 13 seniors and has seven juniors with 43 combined years of experience playing at Sacramento State among those 20 veterans. The Hornets return all 11 of their primary starters from last season, having lost just one senior to graduation, and the returners scored 28 of the team's 29 total goals last season and recorded 23 of its 24 assists.
No Tie Zone
Dating back to the 2013 season Sacramento State has played 48 consecutive games without a tie. The last stalemate the team played was a 0-0 draw with Northern Colorado on Sept. 29, 2013. In the last 48 tieless games just seven have even gone to overtime. The streak nearly came to an end on Sunday as the Hornets and San Jose State were just five minutes from a 0-0 draw before the Spartans scored a golden goal in the 105th minute.
Among the 13 Hornet seniors are six players that have been five-year Hornets. Forwards Alyssa Anderson, Josie Jogwe, and Kassidy Kellogg, midfielders Lydia Bowman and Jennifer Lum, and defender McKenna Swanson are all entering their fifth season with the program. Bowman and Lum redshirted as true freshmen while the other four had medical redshirt seasons.
Dayak Delivering the Daggers
Senior forward Adaurie Dayak led the Hornets and tied for the Big Sky lead with four game-winning goals last season and picked up where she left off with the winning score last Friday vs. CSU Bakersfield. Of her four game-winners last year, three of them came in Big Sky play as she tallied the winning goal in three of the five Hornet wins in conference play.
Collins Leading the Way
In her first season with the Hornets in 2015, junior Kayla Collins was an All-Big Sky second team selection, was named to the All-Big Sky Tournament team, and was Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week twice. She led the team with 7 goals and 6 assists for 20 points, ranking sixth in the Big Sky in goals, assists, and points, and was tied for third in the league with three game-winning goals.
All-Big Sky Honors
Three Hornets earned all-Big Sky honors last season, led by a second team selection for forward Kayla Collins, who led the team with 20 points on seven goals and six assists on the season. Midfielder Jennifer Lum was named honorable mention to earn her second career all-Big Sky honor and defender Regan Smithers was also all-Big Sky honorable mention for the second consecutive year.
Decade of Dedini
Sacramento State head coach Randy Dedini enters his 10th season leading the Hornets. He is the longest tenured and winningest coach in program history in terms of both total wins and winning percentage. He has won two Big Sky titles - the only two in program history - and was named Big Sky Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2010. Just four active Big Sky coaches have been with their programs longer than Dedini.
Big Sky Tournament Rewind
Last season the Hornets qualified for the Big Sky Tournament for the first time since 2010 and beat Eastern Washington, 3-1, in the quarterfinals before falling to Northern Colorado in the semifinals. The win over the Eagles was Sacramento State's fifth straight win in Big Sky Tournament play.
Most Big Sky Wins
Sacramento State's five Big Sky regular season wins in 2015 was a program record. The team had never won more than four Big Sky games in a year, though before the league expanded there were as few as only six Big Sky games played per year compared to the 10 that are played now. The Hornets added a sixth win over a Big Sky team with the victory over Eastern Washington in the Big Sky Tournament.
The Hornets have four goalies on the 2016 roster, including all three that saw action last season as well as freshman Kaylyn Evans. Sophomore Destiny Butcher started the first 14 games of the 2015 season before an injury and senior Molly McConnell started the last six. In both of Sacramento State's two exhibition games last week McConnell played the first half and Butcher played the second half, combining to allow only one total goal in the two games.
Scoring Spread Out
Twelve different Hornets scored a goal last year and 13 had at least one assist. Eight players recorded both goals and assists, with Kayla Collins and Adaurie Dayak leading the way with seven goals and Collins leading with six assists. So far this season the team's two goals and two assists are from four different players.