Sac State’s women’s soccer ends overtime dogfight with Fresno State in draw

Hornets showed toughness in final non-conference matchup of the season.


Jordan Latimore

Sophomore forward Jasmyne Dunn takes a practice shot in warm-ups before Sac State’s match against Nevada at Hornet Field on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. The Hornets and Bulldogs game on Sunday, Sept. 19 ended in a 1-1 draw as Sac State came off back-to-back losses in the last two weeks.

Jordan Latimore

“Be relentless.”

That was the locker room motto for Sacramento State women’s soccer who had lost four of their last five games coming into Sunday’s match against Fresno State. Though this match would end in a 1-1 draw, Sac State looked to make a huge statement.

The Hornets (2-5-2), coming off back-to-back losses, had something to prove against the Bulldogs (2-4-2) with the amount of losses in their record stacking as they head into conference play next Sunday.

Unlike their most recent losses, the Hornets came out with an aggressive offensive approach. In the first half alone, Sac State was able to get off three shots on-goal, which was more than their previous two matches combined. 

“Playing in the Big Sky, sometimes you got to win dirty; ugly games; you gotta be tough,” said head coach Randy Dedini. “Our game plan today was to be a little more forward-minded. We left in forwards and left in players that should really break down defenses.”

One of the many on-goal shots taken by Sac State came from senior forward Ele Avery, who played with Fresno State for four years before transferring to Sac State for her final year of eligibility. 

“We had a different kind of game plan of attacking, cause we felt like in the last game, we weren’t really able to display the talent that we have up top,”  Avery said. “We did a really good job today with pressing and collectively supporting each other.”

In the 57th minute, Sac State finally saw their press pay off. 

Pushing upfield, the ball found itself in possession of senior defender Aubrey Goodwill, who was fouled on a drive inside the box, prompting a penalty kick. With patient but forceful execution, Goodwill scored the free kick, giving the Hornets their first point in over two games of action.

Goodwill, who is a backline defender, was playing so far up she was able to capitalize on a scoring opportunity signaling a bold offensive scheme from the Hornets to play forward with all of their personnel.

“We’re making things a little more black and white for the girls,” Dedini said. “I think today was a little bit of a combination of their hard work continuing to fix [and] the little things that we weren’t doing.”

For the first time this season, the Hornets outshot their opponent 6-5 in shots on goal.

However, Sac State wasn’t out of the woods just yet.

In a back-and-forth physical second half, Sac State found itself battling it out with a desperate Fresno State team looking to strike. 

In the 88th minute with just 120 seconds left in regulation, the Bulldogs took a shot off a smooth ground cross in the box and scored, tying the game at 1-1.

With the match remaining tied after 90 minutes, the Hornets and Bulldogs headed into extra minutes of play that saw some of the grittiest play Sac State has had so far this season. 

The extra 20 minutes of action were physical, and the Fresno State offense turned up the heat on Sac State, getting off four shots in that time span to Sac State’s zero.

It seemed as if Sac State’s offense simply ran out of gas and could not execute down the stretch.

“We had three one-on-ones and ended up finishing none of them,” Dedini said. “You don’t finish those chances and good teams like Fresno. They’re going to find a way.”

Though the Hornets would not secure a win in this match, the effort and toughness put on display will be something to watch for heading into Big Sky play next week.

“Understanding that conference is going to be a little different,” Avery said. “The girls are obviously going to be much bigger and way more intense. We wanted to really come into this game hitting first and challenge them to actually play and not just move the ball around us.”

Sac State’s next match, which will be the first conference matchup of the season, will be on the road against University of Portland on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 1 p.m.