Sac State clinches playoff spot with tie against Northern Arizona


Carlo Marzan - The State Hornet

Sacramento State senior forward Andrea Boehm, top right, celebrates with teammates after tying with Northern Arizona Friday, Oct. 27 at Hornet Field. The Hornets’ draw clinched them a spot in the Big Sky Tournament.

The Sacramento State women’s soccer team clinched a spot in the Big Sky Tournament with its 1-1 draw in double overtime against Northern Arizona Friday at Hornet Field.

Earlier in the day, North Dakota ended its game against Northern Colorado in a tie as well, which ensured the Hornets a spot in the playoffs with a win or tie.

Sac State (8-7-4, 3-3-4 Big Sky Conference) had a difficult time moving the ball on the opposing team’s goal, as the Northern Arizona defense shut down most the Hornets’ offensive plays. The Lumberjacks scored the first goal of the game when senior forward Adrian Nixt connected on a tight shot over Sac State freshman goalkeeper Aaliyah Fesili.

“That was really rough,” Fesili said. “They scored first, and it was in the first half. At first, I was like, ‘Dang, they scored,’ but we still had plenty of time in the game to comeback, and we did.”

The Hornets struggled in the first half against Northern Arizona and were outshot by the Lumberjacks 3-2.

“I feel like every time we’ve been down, we come back harder, and we end up scoring again,” said Skylar Littlefield, the Hornets freshman midfielder. “We never give up hope, we always believed we can score a goal and that we can win a game. We never gave up hope today.”

Sac State picked up its pace in the second half and outshot Northern Arizona 7-2. Sophomore midfielder Bonnie Ford was pulled down in the box and was awarded a penalty kick to be taken by freshman forward Kylee Kim-Bustillos. Kim-Bustillos, who ended the year with the fifth most goals in a single season in program history, connected on the PK for her 11th goal of the year to tie the game 1-1.

“Going into a penalty kick, you have to be confident,” Kim-Bustillos said. “You have to be sure of which side you’re going, you can’t second guess yourself. I just had to pick a side and stick to it.”

After the score, the game was pushed into overtime, which marks the seventh time the Hornets have played in extra time this season.

“We were totally going for the win, even though we could have kept the tie, everyone worked their butts off to get the win,” said Andrea Boehm, the Hornets senior forward. “No one was going to settle with a tie.”

Each team only mustered two shot attempts in overtime before the game ended in a tie.

“If we lost today, we wouldn’t have made it into the playoffs,” Littlefield said. “A win was our goal, but a tie will do.”

Sac State will next play its first match of the Big Sky Tournament Quarterfinals Wednesday at either 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. at the EWU Soccer Field.

Additional reporting by Gaby Mascoll