MISSOULA, Mont. – Sacramento State scored twice in the first nine minutes, added a third goal in the 25th minute, and junior goalkeeper Kimberly Mata tied her career high with 12 saves as the Hornets earned a 3-0 victory over Montana on Friday afternoon in Missoula.
"I thought we came out pretty strong; we felt like we had an advantage with our front line against their back line and we wanted to go at them right away," Sacramento State head coach Randy Dedini said. "We converted a couple of chances and it was nice that we were finishing early. In the second half they changed the lineup a little bit and put a lot of pressure on us, but Kim made some really good saves."
The Hornets remained unbeaten and unscored upon in conference play at 2-0-1 and improved to 6-4-2 overall this season while Montana dropped to 0-2-1 in the Big Sky and 3-5-4 overall. Montana had won its last 12 home matches since its last loss in Missoula in 2011 – a 1-0 win by the Hornets.
"I was really proud of our girls going on the road and winning," Dedini said. "Anywhere in conference it's difficult to go on the road and get three goals. We're still learning and we need to do a better job of playing with a lead, but today was big for us."
The Hornets started the scoring barrage in the eighth minute, as redshirt freshman Ashley Cella sent a free kick from 35-yard out over the head of Montana goalkeeper Kendra McMillen for the first goal of her collegiate career. Just one minute and 28 seconds later Sacramento State doubled its lead as senior Jordyn Rolling scored from close range off a pass from redshirt freshman Jennifer Lum.
Montana had five of the games next-six shots as it went on the attack, but it was the Hornets that found the net again in the 25th minute. Lum sent an entry pass into the Griz zone and Hornet sophomore Alyssa Anderson beat McMillen to the ball above the Montana box and slid it into the goal. Anderson scored her Big Sky-leading seventh goal of the season and gave the visitors a 3-0 halftime lead.
The Griz had a 9-5 shot advantage in the first half despite allowing three goals, and the home team had even more of the possession in the second half with a 14-1 edge in shots over the final 45 minutes. After making three saves in the first half Mata made nine stops in the second period while the Griz also had eight second-half corner kicks and a 10-0 advantage in corners for the match. Mata stood tall, making 12 stops for the second time this season and recording her Big Sky-leading fifth shutout of the season.
In three Big Sky matches the Hornets have outscored their opposition 4-0 while Mata has stopped all 21 opponent shots on goal. All four of Sacramento State's goals in conference play have come in the first half.
The Hornets are also now 3-0-2 over their last five matches and 5-1-2 over their last eight contests. Sacramento State will look to continue its strong play at noon Sunday at Eastern Washington.