Sac State women’s soccer defeats Eastern Washington 2-1, continues to push for playoffs

Hornets trailed by a goal at the half but scored two in the second to get the win


Jordan Latimore

(FILE) Hornet junior midfielder Jasmyne Dunn dribbles through the Eastern Washington defense on Sept. 23, 2022, in a 2-1 loss to Montana at Hornet Field. The Hornets move over .500 win rate in The Big Sky Conference as the postseason nears.

Nathan Uebelhoer

The Sac State women’s soccer team was down a goal at halftime, but that didn’t stop junior forward Jasmyne Dunn and sophomore midfielder Lexi Rakela from taking it back and securing a 2-1 win against Eastern Washington University at the Eagles’ field on Friday afternoon.

Heading into the match, the Hornets sat in sixth place in the Big Sky Conference– just one point behind their fourth-placed opponents. 

This win was huge for the team’s playoff implications; the Hornets now have two matches left to continue their run for the playoffs. 

The top six teams in the Big Sky advance to the Big Sky Tournament which will start on Nov. 2 in Greeley, Colorado.

It was a rough start for the Hornets in the first half, with only four shots on target– none of those troubling the keeper. 

On the other side, Eastern Washington had seven first-half shots with Hornet goalie Mia Shalit being forced to make three saves.

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Finally, the Hornets began to build some momentum at the onset of the second half. Senior defender Aubrey Goodwill curled a free kick into the box that was headed into the back of the net by Rakela to draw level.

In the 51st minute, star striker Dunn had a sensational outside-the box shot that slammed into the top left corner, giving the Hornets the lead.

Sac State coach Randy Dedini said his team stayed calm during halftime despite being down. He said he thinks that was key to the win. 

“You know, it was a calm halftime,” Dedini said. “We all knew how important this game was. We just knew that we had to make a couple adjustments and just go out there and execute.”

Dedini  said that Eastern Washington looked overly confident heading into the second half.

“They just came out a little bit confident, like they kind of had it,” Dedini said. “We scored two and then the first 10 or 12 minutes got it.”

Eastern Washington had yet to lose at home this season. The Eagles thought they were unstoppable in Cheney until Sac State came in and ended that impressive streak.

Dunn struggled at the beginning of the season to score goals but after getting the game-winning shots against the Eagles and at Weber State, it’s clear the work she is putting in behind the scenes is coming to fruition.

“I just got more confident in my shooting ability,” Dunn said. “Recently I have just been saying ‘screw it’ to the ball.”

Big shots by Dunn gave Sac State their third win of the season. They are now 3-8-4 overall and 3-2-1 in conference play. That puts them in fourth in the Big Sky and in pole position for a playoff berth. 

Dedini’s style of coaching has been paramount to the Hornet’s recent surge. Dunn said Dedini stays calm at halftime rather than getting angry or yelling when his team is losing. She said he gives them the confidence to go out there and win. “We were pretty confused at halftime,” Dunn said. “We didn’t feel like we should be down, but [Dedini] was very supportive and gave us the security to go out and win.” 

Sac State now travels to Idaho to take on the Vandals this Sunday at 12 p.m. PST in Moscow, Idaho, who is currently ranked 12th in the Big Sky standings.