Women’s soccer begins their first slate of home games against UNLV and San Jose State

Clifton Jones

Coming off its first win of the season, Sac State women’s soccer will look to use the momentum this Friday to play well in their first weekend home stand. The Hornets will play Sept. 6 against UNLV and Sept. 8 against San Jose State.

Sacramento State prepares for their home opener after opening the season to a 1-2-0 start, most recently with a win against Cal State Bakersfield back on Sept. 1.

Playing at home has been a big part of how well the season will turn out for the Hornets, whether it’s a win or a loss.

For one Hornet, the game against UNLV will mean more than a home opener. Senior defender Jordyn Rolling, grew up in Las Vegas and often went to Rebels games as a child.

“I am looking forward to playing this weekend because I grew up watching UNLV and have friends on the team there,” Rolling said.

Rolling knows that this is her last year as a Hornet but she does not let that affect her in how she prepares for the first home game.

“I am not the player that gets nervous before or during games,” Rolling said. “It actually juices me up and gets me excited.”  

It may be Rolling’s last home opener as a Hornet, but redshirt freshman midfielder Jennifer Lum, is experiencing hers for the first time.

Lum has been battling an ankle injury ever since the second exhibition game against the Sacramento Storm but said she is ready to go.

“I am excited to play at home with this team for the first time as a Hornet,” Lum said. “I have been looking forward to this since last season.”  

The Hornets are 7-11-1 in home openers since 1994 after becoming a Div. I team. There was a stretch where Sac State won the first home game for three consecutive years from 1999-2001 and made it to the first round of the Big Sky tournament in the 2000-2001 season.  

“We need to continue to improve and get better each game, win or lose,” women’s head soccer coach Randy Dedini said. “It doesn’t matter how this season starts for us as long as we get better as a team throughout the season.”

Under coach Dedini, the Hornets have won three home openers in the first five years and an overall record of  25-18-14 and 10-6-7 in conference play.

In 2007 the Hornets, led by Dedini, finished the season 7-0-1 after starting the year with three consecutive home wins. 2010 was the complete opposite when the Hornets lost the first three home games, before winning the last five.

In both of those years the Hornets won the Big Sky title and appeared against the Stanford Cardinals in the NCAA tournament.

Dedini said he has seen how the home opener can affect the rest of the season.

“I have been on both sides so I have seen how great a win to start the season is to motivate and give confidence to the team,” Dedini said. “I also saw the improvement of the 2010 team after starting the season with three straight losses.”

Dedini said there are a lot of similarities on this team compared to the 2007 and 2010 championship teams. Both teams made it to the NCAA tournament before being ousted both times by Stanford by a combined score of 10-0.

“We have the depth and the scorers that we had in ‘07 and ‘10 that make us so talented,” Dedini said.

Sac State will have its first home games of the season this Friday at 2:30 p.m. against UNLV and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. against San Jose State.

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