Kimberly Mata named Big Sky defensive player of the week

Clifton Jones

Sacramento State women’s soccer junior goalkeeper Kimberly Mata was named the Big Sky Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday along with Portland State  defender Torie Morris.

This marks the second week in-a-row a Sac State player has been honored by the conference after sophomore forward Alyssa Anderson was awarded named Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 23.  

“I found out right after practice today,” Mata said. “It was pretty exciting to be the Co-Defensive Player of the Week. I had no clue I was even nominated for the award.”

Mata, who came back from being injured the last two games said she was nervous coming back to play against her first Big Sky opponent in University of North Dakota.

“It felt good to come back from injury, but I knew I had to be ready to go for conference,” Mata said.

The Mata has registered four shutouts this season, including two in the first weekend of Big Sky conference play against North Dakota, 1-0, and Northern Colorado University 0-0. She has five career shutouts at Sac State. 

Even though she won the award, Mata said she is trying not to let the award affect her preparation for this weekend’s road games.

“It was good recognition for me, but at the same time its only two games into the conference season,” Mata said. “I am still going to prepare the same way for the next opponents so I can help lead my team with a win.”

So far this season, Mata has been a wall for the Hornets defensively with 48 saves while allowing only nine goals. She has given up a little over a goal a game for the Hornets in her first full year as the starting goalie.

“I told a couple of the defenders that I won the award and (I) thanked them,” Mata said. “Because they are the reason why I won the award.”  

Mata and the Hornets will look to continue a great start to the conference season as the team travels to University of Montana to take on the Grizzlies at 4 p.m. Friday.