SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sophomore Allie Zwerling scored her first career goal with just under five minutes to play to lift the Sacramento State women's soccer team to a 1-0 win over UNLV on Friday afternoon at Hornet Field.
The win improved the Hornets to 3-1 on the year while UNLV suffered its first loss and fell to 4-1. With a roster that includes 10 freshmen, the 3-1 start is the best for Sacramento State since the 2009 team opened the year 3-0-1. The team also improved to 2-0 at home, and has won four straight at Hornet Field dating back to last season.
Not only did UNLV enter today's game with a 4-0 record, but the team was also 20-4-3 dating back to last season, which included an NCAA Tournament appearance.
The game was scoreless for the first 85 minutes until Sacramento State was awarded a corner kick. Kylee Smith served the ball into the box where it was headed in by Zwerling at the 85:42 mark. The Tustin, Calif., native played in just five games a year ago but did not score on seven shots. The header was her second shot of this season.
The Rebels attempted to answer quickly off the kick-off, taking the ball into the 18-yard box only to have a shot attempt blocked by a Hornet defender. The rebound caromed outside the box where Katie Ballou's attempt sailed just over the top of the cross bar.
"We did a very good job of executing the game plan, and Mikayla Reed did a tremendous job neutralizing their leading scorer (Sophie Cortes) who is one of the keys to UNLV's success," Sacramento State head coach Randy Dedini said. "I felt like we were able to take away what they wanted to do, and a big part of that was play through Cortes.
"That is a very good team, and I anticipate they will have another great season. This win gives us a lot of confidence, because not only did we beat an NCAA Tournament caliber team but I felt like we outplayed them."
The two teams posted nearly identical offensive numbers during the game. Sacramento State finished with 10 total shots, including four on goal. UNLV had nine attempts with three on frame. Corner kicks favored the Rebels, 4-3, and both teams had three saves. The largest gap came in fouls where the Hornets were called for 15 and UNLV had eight.
Freshman goalkeeper Aaliyah Fesili improved to 2-0 with the win for Sacramento State. Fesili saved all three shots on goal during the game to lower her goals against average to 0.47 in two games.
Sacramento State continues its season-long four-game homestand on Sunday against Texas at 5 p.m., followed by a home matchup with Cal next Friday, Sept. 8.