SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's soccer team will play their first back-to-back home matches this weekend when they welcome Nevada and CSUN to Hornet Field. The Hornets will take on the Wolfpack Friday afternoon while they clash with the Matadors Sunday at noon.
How To Watch
Sacramento State's Friday night match vs. Nevada will stream live online at WatchBigSky.com. Live stats will also be available online at HornetStats.com. In-game updates will be provided via Twitter, @SacStWSoccer.
Sunday's match vs. the CSUN Matadors will also stream live online at WatchBigSky.com. Live stats and in-game updates will be available, as well, on HornetStats.com and Twitter, @SacStWSoccer, respectively.
All links, news, and updates can always be found by visiting the 2018 Women's Soccer Schedule online at HornetSports.com.
Kids Day This Sunday
Sunday's match against the Northridge Matadors is also Kids Day at Hornet Field for the women's soccer team. The team will host a full autograph session, including team posters, for all kids in attendance.
About Last Week
The Hornets had just one match last week as they traveled south to Stockton to take on the Pacific Tigers. The Hornets took the early 1-0 advantage when Christina Lazar scored her second goal of the season in the 12th minute. Pacific countered with three unanswered goals to take the match, 3-1.
Facing the Wolfpack
Sacramento State has faced Nevada 16 times since 2000, playing to an overall record of 5-10-1. They have had their most success against the Wolfpack at home, however, where they are 4-4-0 all-time.
The team's last match up, which came early last season, resulted in a 3-2 Wolfpack win. In fact, Nevada has taken each of the five contests between these two teams. The Hornets' last win over Nevada came at home, a 2-1 victory in 2012.
- The Nevada Wolfpack come into Friday afternoon's match with a 3-1-1 record, including a 2-1-1 mark while on the road.
- Last season, Nevada finished with a 1-18 record, finishing last in the Mountain West Conference. Their lone win was against the Hornets.
- The Wolfpack graduated their top goalscorer from last season (Rachel Gensch, 3), though they return their second-top scorer, Mackenzie Robinson, who finished last season with two goals scored.
- Nevada is off to a strong start on the road this season, with wins at both UC Davis and Weber State. Last season, the Wolfpack did not win a game on the road all season.
- Freshman Peyton Lieb leads the Nevada squad with three goals already this season, matching the most goals scored by a Wolfpack player all of last season.
Facing the Matadors
The Hornets and Matadors have a fairly limited history, having faced each other just nine times since 1996. Their last match together came back in 2005. All-time, the Matadors lead the series 6-2-1.
Sacramento State's last win against CSUN came in 1997, a 3-1 victory at Hornet Field. The Matadors have won two straight matches against the Hornets.
- The CSUN Matadors enter this weekend with a 1-2-1 overall record. Their only win so far this season came on the road, 2-1 at Cal State Fullerton.
- Last year, the Matadors played to a 9-4-8 overall record, including 4-1-3 mark in the Big West. They finished second in the conference and lost in the tournament championship to Fullerton.
- Before facing the Hornets on Sunday, the Matadors will take on the Pacific Tigers at Pacific on Friday.
- Northridge is led by redshirt sophomore Bethany Fitzsimmons. Her two goals and four points both lead the squad.
- Last season's top goal scorer for the Matadors, Marissa Favela (7) is still looking for her first goal of the 2018 season.
- CSUN has allowed 10 goals through their first four games of the season, just one fewer than the Hornets.
- Their previous match, scheduled at Army, was cancelled due to lightning.
Lazar Strikes Again
Defender Christina Lazar set a new career-high with her second goal of the year in last Friday's match at Pacific in the 12th minute.
As a freshman, Lazar started and played all 20 of the team's games, but took just two total shots. Through five games this season, Lazar has two goals on five shots. Her five total shots are second on the team while her four shots on goal are tied for most.
Conference's Assist Leader
Last year, forward Kylee Kim-Bustillos burst onto the women's soccer scene with an incredible 11-goal, four-assist debut season. This year, with defenses focusing on her at all times, Kim-Bustillos has excelled in setting up her teammates for success.
Though she is still looking for her first goal, Kim-Bustillos already has a career-best four assists through the season's first five matches. She leads the team and the Big Sky in assists.
Back Half of Non-Conference
Sacramento State has played five of their nine non-conference matches for the year, putting them over the halfway mark. Of those first five matches, four of them came on the road or at a neutral site. The remaining four games include three at home and one on the road at San Francisco. Last year, the Hornets 5-3-1 at home compared to 3-3-3 on the road.
Mikayla Reed has played every minute of every match so far this season, giving her a team-high total of 488 minutes played. Defender Christina Lazar is not far behind, having totaled 480 minutes through the season's first five games. Four other players have all totaled over 400 minutes so far, as well.
Not Quite 100%
The Hornets have already had their fair share of injuries so far this season and have been missing big minutes from big players.
Team captain and senior midfielder Caitlin Porthe has been limited to just a few minutes per half. Senior Allie Zwerling has missed each of the last three games with a knee injury.
Last year's breakout goalkeeper Aaliyah Fesili is still recovering from a knee injury while senior goalkeeper Kaylyn Evans is battling another injury (hand). Junior transfer and defender Mia Wilson also suffered a knee injury and will likely miss time.
Sacramento State returns three players to the 2018 roster who were named all-conference last season. Caitlin Prothe and Kylee Kim-Bustillos were both honored as first team all-conference while Mikayla Reed was named to the second team.
Keepers Stretched Thin
Sacramento State has found themselves stretched thin at the keeper position. The Hornets came into the year with just two active keepers as sophomore Aaliyah Fesili works her way back from an ACL injury. Senior keeper Kaylyn Evans is battling a hand injury, forcing true-freshman Ailey Collins into a starting role.
Making them Count
The Hornets have been extremely efficient in their shots so far this season. Sacramento State has taken 45 shots in total through five games (nine shots per game) and has placed more than half of those shots on goal (23). Of those 23 shots on goal, six have turned into goals. Overall, the Hornets own a .133 shot percentage and a .511 SOG percentage.
With last season's trip to the Big Sky Tournament, Sacramento State made it three straight years with a postseason appearance. That streak matches the program record for most consecutive seasons in the postseason (last, 2005-07). Since its start in 1994, the Sacramento State women's soccer team has never advanced to four straight postseason tournaments. With a strong 2018 season, the Hornets could break that record this season.