Women’s soccer prepares for Big Sky play set to begin Friday


Sac State forward No. 28 Alyssa Anderson named Big Sky Player of the Week.

Clifton Jones

With the first half of the season under its belt, the Sacramento State women’s soccer team will start Big Sky Conference games this weekend hoping to fare for good results.

Sac State finished its non-conference portion of the season with a 4-4-1 record good for fourth place in the Big Sky.

However, it’s not what a team does before conference, it’s what they do in conference play. The Hornets will have multiple tough tests throughout the conference season.

“Conference play is a lot of fun, but it is a dogfight in every game, we have to be ready to play because any team is capable of winning,” women’s head soccer coach Randy Dedini said.

Sac State’s lifetime record against last year’s top four teams in the Big Sky is 7-10-3 (6-8-3) against Weber state; 10-5-3 (8-5-3) against Portland State; 6-10-4 (6-7-3) against Montana and 2-10-3 (2-10-2) against Idaho State.

The Hornets have been a little banged up the past few games in non-conference play with junior goalkeeper Kimberly Mata injured with a sore shoulder suffered against University of Nevada, Reno. Junior forward Shelby Salvacion has been battling through a sore knee, suffered against Fresno State.

Dedini said he is hoping his team is ready to go.

“We need to get healthy first before conference and continue to play well,” Dedini said.  “I think if we can do that we can do well in conference this year.”

Even if Mata can not play in the first two games, Sac State has a capable backup goalie in redshirt freshman Hannah Gendron who has played admirably since joining the starting 11.   

In her first two games as a Division I goalie, Gendron has allowed three goals but her ability to save crucial shots helped her in the Hornets last game against Pacific.

“We wanted to end the non conference season on a good note with a win against Pacific,” Gendron said. “I was happy to have given my team that in my second game as goalie this season.”

The Hornets are bolstered by the stellar play of both sophomore forward Alyssa Anderson and Mata.

Mata, who rested the last two games in order to heal her shoulder, played well in the previous seven. In those seven games, she has blocked 39 shots while only allowing nine goals.  

Anderson leads the Big Sky in both points and goals scored this season with 13 points and six goals. The Santa Rosa native has accounted for over half of the offensive production for the Hornets.

According to NCAA.com Anderson ranks tied for 47th place in Division I in goals scored, tied for 44th in goals per game with 0.750 scored and tied for 88th in total points.

Anderson said that her ability to score goals not only has given her more confidence in her ability to put a ball on net, but her team’s confidence has grown as well with her.

“Its been nice to have my play help out my team’s success on the soccer field,” Anderson said.  

Anderson was awarded the offensive Big Sky player of the week on Tuesday, because of her two goals against University of Pacific.  

This week at practice, Sac State has been doing extra running in order to get in better shape for a highly competitive conference season.

“We have been pushing our fitness level this week and the past few weeks as well, because once in conference we are going to taper down the sprints,” Dedini said.

Sac State opens Big Sky play Friday against University of North Dakota at 4 p.m.