Sacramento State women’s soccer hosted its 2014 season opener on Friday evening at Hornet Field, where the team succumbed to its crosstown rival UC Davis in a 1-0 loss.
Aggies forward Celina Minissian secured the win for her team in the 81st minute after a Hornet player lost possession of the ball at the top of the goalkeeper’s box.
Minissian was able to dribble through defenders as she unloaded a shot that made it past Sac State’s keeper, senior Kimberly Mata, in the lower right side of the net.
In a physical matchup against the Aggies, where both teams combined with a total of 18 fouls, the Hornets were not able to convert on any of their recorded seven shots on goal.
“It’s a disappointing loss obviously [for our] first game at home against our crosstown rival,” Sac State head coach Randy Dedini said. “It’s a bitter loss, especially as well as we played in the first half [where] we controlled the pace of the game.”
The women came out strong in the first half and dominated the possession despite UC Davis leading 4-3 on attempted shots. Sophomore midfielder Jennifer Lum was able to get off two shots early in the game, but missed wide and overshot the ball off a corner kick.
Despite not being able to connect on those shots, Lum said she still feels like the team is doing a better job at creating opportunities on offense.
“We just have to shoot on goal and finish our chances,” Lum said.
Sac State did get an opportunity to score an equalizer in the 86th minute against the Aggies as sophomore Rachel Leonard received a ball from junior McKenna Swanson off of a free kick. Leonard missed wide left of the Aggies goal.
The Hornets senior keeper Mata had a busy day where she recorded a total of eight saves against the Aggies who put nine shots on frame.
Heading into the next match, Mata believes that if the defense steps up sooner and if the midfielders come back quickly to help, they can avoid future goals like the one today.
“For defense I think we’ve been working on the back pressure a lot more and we kind of slipped up on that one goal,” she said. “I think we’re still really young into the season that I think we can only get better from here.”
Next up Sac State (0-1-0) will look for its first win as they take the field on Sunday against the University of Pacific at 1 p.m. at Hornet Field.