SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The 2019 season of Sacramento State women's soccer opens the regular season this Friday, August 23, with a 5 p.m. match on the road at Causeway rivals UC Davis. The Hornets look to build on a strong preseason exhibition matchup with Fresno State as they take on UC Davis before returning to Hornet Field for their home opener on Sunday, August 25 against Cal Poly at 1 p.m.
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About Last Season
Sacramento State enters the 2019 season after a tough run in 2018 in which the Hornets were ravaged by injuries. Sacramento State lost all three goalkeepers at one point in the season. After a breakout freshman campaign, sophomore Kylee Kim-Bustillos saw her season cut short by injury, and senior team captain and midfielder Caitlin Prothe also missed significant time with injury.
The Hornets missed the postseason for the first time since 2014. Sacramento State finished with an overall record of 3-13-2, including a 2-7 mark in Big Sky competition. The three wins are the fewest in a single season under 13th-year head coach Randy Dedini and the program's fewest since 2002 (3-13-1, 1-5-0).
Sacramento State took the field last Friday afternoon for the first time this year when they hosted the Mountain West's Fresno State in a preseason exhibition match. The two teams traded goals in regulation before the Bulldogs got the game-winner in the 102nd minute (double overtime).
Newcomer Samantha Craig was responsible for Sacramento State's lone score, an exciting shot from the top of the 18 into the top corner for the goal. The goal was her first in a Hornets uniform. Erika Sosa recorded the assist on the play for Sacramento State.
The preseason tune up was the only one for the Hornets as they begin the regular season this Friday night on the road at Causeway rivals UC Davis.
The Sacramento State women's soccer team named two team captains for the 2019 season: senior midfielder Mikayla Reed and senior goalkeeper Kaylyn Evans. Both Reed and Evans are fourth-year Hornets. Reed, who was named the Big Sky's Newcomer of the Year in 2016, is a three-time all-Big Sky selection.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2019 Captains and Leadership Group!— Sacramento State Women's Soccer (@SacStateWSoccer) August 21, 2019
Seniors Mikayla Reed and Kaylyn Evans are 2019 captains while juniors Aaliyah Fesili and Christina Lazar join them on the Leadership Group! #StingersUp #LiveGreen ✅��⚽️ pic.twitter.com/sjg1YSeZUO
More on Returners
In addition to Mikayla Reed (15 starts), the Hornets return 10 other players with 10 or more starts in 2018. Of those 11, five started 15 or more of the team's 18 games.
Skylar Littlefield (three goals) is the team's leading scorer from a season ago while Kylee Kim-Bustillos and Bonnie Ford paced last season's team with four assists each. Julia Herrera (1,554) and Ariana Nino (1,541), last year's minutes leaders, also return to the squad in 2019.
Big Sky Preseason Poll
The Sacramento State women's soccer team was picked seventh in the 2019 preseason Big Sky Coaches' Poll. The Hornets received 36 points in the poll and one first-place vote. The program finished 11 points behind sixth-place Northern Arizona (47) and three points ahead of the eighth-place Portland State Vikings (33).
Last season's runner up, Northern Colorado, finished atop the poll with 76 points and six first-place votes. Weber State, the reigning Big Sky regular season champion, was picked second in the poll with 67 points and three first-place votes. Last year's Big Sky Tournament Champion, Montana, was picked third in the poll with 58 points.
A Look at the Schedule
Sacramento State starts the 2019 season on the road with a non-conference matchup against its Causeway rival, the UC Davis Aggies. In total, nine of the team's 18 matches are on the road or on a neutral pitch. The remaining nine all take place at Sacramento State's Hornet Soccer Field. The team's home opener is set for Sunday, Aug. 25 against Cal Poly. The team also finishes the season at home with back-to-back Big Sky matches against Idaho (Oct. 25) and Eastern Washington (Oct. 27).
The Big Sky Tournament is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 6 through Sunday, Nov. 10.
- For complete Women's Soccer Weekly Notes, CLICK HERE. -