SACRAMENTO, Calif. – All was quiet at Hornet Field Friday afternoon as the Sacramento State women's soccer team went into the half still scoreless against the visiting Idaho State Bengals. All of that changed in a fiery second half as the Hornets rolled their way to a 3-0 win.
Sacramento State opened the scoring Friday afternoon in the 53rd minute when Caitlin Prothe delivered her second goal of the season to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead.
The play started as Bonnie Ford poked a through ball past the defenders just past beyond. Prothe picked up the ball and simply dribbled past her defenders, opening up a one-on-one opportunity with the Bengal's keeper. Prothe made a nice cut to her left, getting the goal to go into a dive and leave the net wide open. From there, she punched it in to the upper far corner for the goal.
15 minutes later, the Hornets struck again in very similar fashion. Skylar Littlefield, who entered the match tied for the team lead with two goals,received a perfect pass from Tiffany Miras around midfield and, like Prothe before her, simply beat her defenders to again force a one-on-one situation with the goalie. Littlefield drilled one low and into the near corner for the game's second score in the 68th minute.
As if it was drawn up, Miras followed that with a goal of her own just one minute and 19 second later. For the third time, a Hornets attacker outmaneuvered their defender as Miras received a perfect pass from Aubrey Goodwill and beat her defenders into the box. After getting the goalie to commit to a sliding save, Miras cut to her left and scored in the open goal in the 69th.
For Littlefield, the goal was her third of the year, the most on the team. For Miras, it was her second.
The assist for Goodwill was her first of the season, as were her 32 minutes played Friday afternoon. After starting the season with a foot injury made her debut against Idaho State and had an immediate impact, playing strong defense on the backline as well as with the assist.
The remaining 21 minutes passed much more quietly than the previous 15, though Idaho State did their best to rally a counter attack but were unable to put any real pressure on goalkeeper Kaylyn Evans and the Hornets strong backline.
Ultimately, Idaho State placed just one of their eight shots on goal and it came early in the first half, though it took an excellent save by defender Ariana Nino to prevent that lone shot from scoring. Evans had moved forward into a scrum to try and snatch the ball out of the air, but a Bengals header lifted the ball up and over her reach. Nino came crashing in from the far side and, with a header of her own, deflected the ball up and out of danger.
Sacramento State took 11 shots compared to the Bengals' eight and placed six of them on goal. Six of their 11 shots came in the second half.
The second half also featured all four of the match's yellow cards. Prothe picked up the first in the 66th minute while the second was shown to the Hornets bench at the 67 minute mark. 11 seconds later, the Idaho State bench was shown a yellow card, as well. The final card was given to goalkeeper Kaylyn Evans in the 87th minute.
With the win, the Hornets improve to 3-7-2 overall, though more importantly, to 2-1 through their first three conference games. In those three games, the Hornets have outscored their opponents 4-2 and have recorded two shutouts.
The three goals match the most scored in a game this season by the Hornets. They also scored three goals at home in a 3-2 win over Nevada in a non-conference matchup earlier this year.
It is also the second time in the last two contests between the Hornets and Bengals that Sacramento State has won by three goals. Last year, the Hornets dismantled the Bengals by a score of 6-3 in Sacramento.
The women's soccer team will be back in action in just two days as they host the Weber State Wildcats on Sunday. The match, which is scheduled for noon, will again take place at Hornet Field at Sacramento State.
In addition to another conference match, Sunday's match is also a Kid's Day at Hornet Field, including a free poster giveaway and postgame autographs for children in attendance. Gates open at 11 a.m. For more details, be sure to visit the Sacramento State women's soccer schedule online at HornetSports.com.