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The State Hornet

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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Sac State women’s soccer lives on the edge against Eastern Washington

Each of Sac State’s four wins have ended in the same score
Freshman+goalkeeper+Izzy+Palmatier+jumping+to+intercept+an+attempt+on+goal+Friday%2C+Oct.+6%2C+2023.+It+was+a+good+game+for+the+Hornets%2C+with+four+saves%2C+21+shots+and+one+winning+goal.
Brionna Woody
Freshman goalkeeper Izzy Palmatier jumping to intercept an attempt on goal Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. It was a good game for the Hornets, with four saves, 21 shots and one winning goal.

Sacramento State women’s soccer secured their second Big Sky conference win against Eastern Washington in an eerily similar fashion as their first conference game, ending with a 1-0 score after a second half penalty kick.

RELATED: ‘It feels like we’re champions’: Sac State stuns Big Sky champs

The game was scoreless up until the last 15 minutes of play, when the Eagles wrote their defeat with a handball inside the penalty box, allowing Sac State to score the only goal of the match.

Junior midfielder Abigail Lopez, the Hornets’ go-to for penalty kicks, was out at the time so junior defender Erika Tilford was called up to take the shot and secured her first career goal.

“If you ask anyone, I’ve been practicing this,” Tilford said. “In the spring, it was months trying to do [penalty kicks] so I knew it wasn’t anything new. You believe in yourself more when you’ve done it before.”

From kickoff, it was clear the Hornets had stepped up their game. They learned from every game this season and it showed in the way they held possession in the first half. Even when the ball reached their side of the pitch, the defense quickly turned play back around.

“I thought we played fantastic,” Sac State head coach Randy Dedini said. “It might have been our best game of the year as far as building [and] creating chances and just playing really good soccer and playing good defense.”

Sophomore midfielder Madelyn Dougherty dribbling the ball up the field Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. Dougherty took six of Sac State’s 21 shots against Eastern Washington. (Brionna Woody)

The Hornets took a season high of 21 shots. Sophomore midfielder Madelyn Dougherty led the charge with six shots, closely followed by Lopez and freshman forward Teysha-Rey Spinney-Kuahuia with four each.

“I think we played very well being able to get 20 shots off,” freshman goalkeeper Izzy Palmatier said. “Even though those shots didn’t all turn into goals, just being able to put those into practice now is so much growth for us. I’m very proud of the way that our team has just been able to learn from every single game.”

Palmatier was a powerhouse against the Eagles’ offense. She had four official saves and an impressive catch in the second half that showcased Palmatier’s ability to get up off the ground.

“I really enjoy those ones because I like getting up above everybody else in the air,” Palmatier said. “It was just a bunch of timing, seeing the trajectory of the ball and getting up there.”

A great game doesn’t always mean a perfect game. Out of the Hornet’s 21 shots only seven were shots on goal. They faced a similar problem in their last game against Portland State where they took 12 shots but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Sac State has only managed one goal in every game they’ve won. The only games where they have scored twice ended in a loss against Pacific and a draw against Northern Colorado.

“We need to do a better job of finishing the game earlier,” Dedini said. “We’ve got to finish more of our chances. We made it too close. When it’s only one goal, it could come down to a corner kick or a bad bounce.”

Sac State is currently tied with Montana and Northern Arizona for second place in the Big Sky Conference.

“I’m excited about how we’re playing and how this team is just getting better and better every week,” Dedini said. “2-1-1 in conference isn’t enough to get us into the playoffs yet, so we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Sac State will play at home against Idaho on Sunday, October 8 at 1 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Rinn Lee
Rinn Lee, Sports Staffer
(she/her) Rinn Lee is in her second semester as a sports staffer at The State Hornet. She loves baseball, soccer and covered Sac State women's soccer in fall 2023. She is a second year journalism major and hopes to go into sports journalism.
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