SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Coming off its first tie in nearly three years, Sacramento State (2-2-1) plays two more home games this weekend against regional foes, hosting Nevada (1-2-0) at 4 p.m. Friday and Pacific (0-4-0) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Hornet Field.
Scouting Nevada (1-2-0)
Nevada scored a 1-0 overtime win over UC Irvine to pick up its first win of the season last Thursday. Like the Hornets, the Wolf Pack played at a tournament in Hawaii but took two losses against Hawaii and Gonzaga. Nevada has scored just two goals and put only six shots on goal through three games, but goalkeeper Kelsey Quintos has a 0.97 goals against average. The Wolf Pack returned nine starters after going 6-11-2 last season and were picked to finish 11th out of 12 teams in the preseason Mountain West coaches' poll. The Hornets are 4-3-0 all-time against Nevada at home but the Wolf Pack has won three straight and six of the last seven overall meetings between the teams.
Scouting Pacific (0-4-0)
Pacific has allowed 13 goals and 54 shots on goal through four games. As a result, goalkeeper Lena Perry leads the West Coast Conference and ranks 7th in NCAA Div. I with 9.50 saves per game, but the Tigers are allowing more than three goals per match. Freshman Sigrid Aas has scored two of the three goals for Pacific, which was unanimously picked to finish last in the 10-team WCC in the preseason coaches' poll. Pacific did lose by just a 1-0 margin at No. 18 Connecticut but permitted five goals in its last contest at Boston College and took a 5-2 home loss against New Mexico. The Tigers finished 3-13-1 last year in their first season under coach Kerri Scroope. Sacramento State has won two of its last three meetings with Pacific but is just 3-13-3 all-time against the Tigers.
The Hornets have not allowed a goal over their last 203 minutes played and have permitted just six shots on goal over that time. Sacramento State also opened the 2016 season not allowing a goal through its first 194 minutes.
What's a Tie?
Sacramento State's 0-0 draw against UC Davis on Sunday ended a program-record streak of 50 consecutive Hornet games without a tie. The streak dated back almost three years to September 29, 2013, when the squad had a similar scoreless tie against Northern Colorado. Over the 50 tieless games just nine went to overtime, including only two overtime games in 2014 and just three last season.
Sacramento State has played in a Big Sky-record four consecutive overtime games, with three of them going double overtime. The team is averaging 100 minutes played per game this year, easily the most in the Big Sky and among the most minutes played in the nation. The Hornets are less than 11 minutes away from being undefeated, as their two Double-OT losses have come in the 104th and 105th minutes.
The Defense Doesn't Rest
The Hornets lead the Big Sky and rank 36th in NCAA Div. I with a 0.54 goals against average. The team has allowed just three goals in five games and leads the Big Sky and is tied for 31st in the nation with three shutouts. Sacramento State has allowed just one goal in regulation time in its five games, playing at least 90 minutes without allowing a goal in four of its five contests.
Wall of Destiny
Sophomore goalkeeper Destiny Butcher leads the Big Sky and ranks 22nd in NCAA Div. I with a .914 save percentage. Her 0.54 goals against average also leads the Big Sky and her 32 total saves rank second. She made a career-high 14 saves against Hawaii, which tied for the second most saves in a game in program history. Butcher's three shutouts (one shared) are tied for the 11th most in Div. I.
Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week
Senior defender Rachel Leonard earned Sacramento State's first Big Sky Player of the Week honor of the 2016 season when she was named Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday. Leonard helped the Hornets limit UC Davis to just five shots on goal in a 0-0 draw in double overtime between the Causeway rivals. She played all 110 minutes anchoring the Hornet back line, which allowed only three shots on goal in regulation time. She was also one of just four nominees for #NCAASoccer Women's Player of the Week.
Upon the conclusion of the Outrigger Soccer Classic Series in Honolulu defender Rachel Leonard, midfielder Jennifer Lum, and forward Kayla Collins were named to the all-tournament team. Leonard and Lum helped the Hornets allow just two goals in two games, including a shutout of BYU-Hawaii, while Lum also contributed team highs of 12 shots and five shots on goal. Collins scored the game-winning goal against BYU-Hawaii.
Senior forward Adaurie Dayak has tallied points in three of the five Hornet games and leads the team with four points on a goal and two assists. She scored the game-winning goal against CSU Bakersfield and assisted on both goals the Hornets scored in Hawaii. Last season Dayak led the Hornets and tied for the Big Sky lead with four game-winning goals, with three of them coming in Big Sky play as she tallied the winning goal in three of the five Hornet wins in conference play.
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 returned 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.
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.
Collins Leading the Way
Junior Kayla Collins scored her first goal of the season at Hawaii, recording the golden goal in the overtime win over BYU-Hawaii. In her first season with the Hornets in 2015 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.
Decade of Dedini
Sacramento State head coach Randy Dedini is in 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.
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.
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.