WOMEN’S SOCCER WITH OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE INTO POSTSEASON PICTURE WITH WIN OVER SOUTHERN UTAH

WOMEN’S SOCCER WITH OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE INTO POSTSEASON PICTURE WITH WIN OVER SOUTHERN UTAH

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's soccer team enters play this weekend tied for sixth with both Southern Utah and North Dakota. Each team has nine points on the season and is battling for the final postseason spot in the Big Sky. The Hornets will host Southern Utah this weekend and, with a win, can move one step closer to locking up their postseason future. This weekend's match takes place on Sunday, Oct. 22 at Hornet Field at 1:00 PM.

Sunday's match is also senior day and the team will celebrate their eight graduating seniors before the game.

Scouting Southern Utah (4-12, 3-5 Big Sky)

Sacramento State welcomes the Southern Utah Thunderbirds for the first and only time this season. Their last matchup came early last season as the Hornets defeated Southern Utah 2-0 on the road at Thunderbird Soccer Field. The last time Sacramento State hosted Southern Utah was during the 2015 season, a match that the Hornets took 4-2. The two teams have faced each other just five times in their history and Sacramento State holds a commanding 4-1 all-time series lead.

The Thunderbirds are scheduled to play a Friday night match on the road against Northern Arizona and enter that match having lost back-to-back games. Their latest loss was a 3-0 defeat against a North Dakota team that the Hornets shut out 3-0 in Sacramento earlier this year.

The Southern Utah offense is last in the Big Sky in shots taken this season but is eighth in goals scored, converting on 10% of their shots taken this season. Sacramento State, by comparison, has taken nearly 100 more shots but has scored only seven more goals (9%).

Defense is where the Thunderbirds breakdown. The team has allowed 46 goals against this season, the most in conference by 11. To exemplify how many shots are being taken against the Southern Utah keepers, they are second in the conference with 97 saves on the year.

Quick Facts vs. Southern Utah

Senior Day

The Sacramento State women's soccer team will recognize their seniors at Sunday's match against Southern Utah. The 2017 squad has just eight seniors, one of head coach Randy Dedini's youngest teams ever.

2017 Women's Soccer seniors (in numerical order): 0, Meghan Glisson, GK; 1, Molly McConnell, GK; 3, Amanda Mielke, D/MF; 7, Sofia Chandler, F; 8, Kylee Smith, F/D; 12, Kayla Collins, F; 20, Chelsea Arnold, D; 22, Andrea Boehm, F/MF.

About Last Match

The Hornets walked away with a 1-1 draw in their last match this past Sunday on the road at Weber State. Kylee Kim-Bustillos scored her eighth goal of the year in the match and her second of the week.

Sacramento State did see two more players leave the game with injury as both Skylar Littlefield (chest) and Caitlin Prothe (knee) were injured during the match.

Big Sky Breakdown

Sacramento State's 2-3-3 record (nine points) heading into this weekend is tied for sixth in the Big Sky conference. The Hornets are tied with North Dakota (3-4) and their Sunday opponent, Southern Utah (3-5). All three teams are just one point ahead of Weber State, who enters Friday with a 2-3-2 record (eight points).

See the full Big Sky Conference Standings here

Postseason Picture

Atop the Big Sky conference, Eastern Washington's 6-0-1 record (19 points) gives them a commanding four-point lead over second place Portland State (5-2, 15 points).

Montana is alone in third with a 4-2-1 record and 13 points. Just behind them are both Northern Colorado (4-3, 12 points) and Northern Arizona (4-4, 12 points).

All five teams hold a decent lead over the three teams tied for sixth, but with two weekends left of matches, there is still a lot of movement that could happen.

Tiebreakers

With so many teams tied, it is possible that postseason spots and seeding may come down to a tiebreaker. According to the Big Sky conference rules, here is how tiebreakers play out:

  1. Head-to-head competition among tied teams
  2. Points against all teams in descending order
  3. Goal differential between/among tied teams, maximum of three
  4. Goal differential against all teams, maximum of three
  5. Goals allowed between/among tied teams
  6. Goals allowed – rest of Conference
  7. Goals for tied teams against tied teams
  8. Goals for tied teams against the rest of the Conference
  9. Coin toss

Injury-Plagued

Sacramento State has dealt with more than their far share of injuries throughout the season. Most recently, Skylar Littlefield and Caitlin Prothe suffered injuries in the team's last match.

The goalkeeping squad has been hit particularly hard as senior Molly McConnell suffered a season-ending injury early this year. Her replacement, Aaliyah Fesili, has been battling a knee issue the last two weeks. Kaylyn Evans missed time with a concussion.

Also on the backline, the Hornets recently lost veteran defender Chelsea Arnold for the season with a knee injury.

Other notable injuries over the course of the year include seniors Amanda Mielke (foot) and senior Kayla Collins (concussion), two of them team's most experienced players.

K-B 

After scoring just one goal in her first six conference matches, the freshman from Hawaii scored in back-to-back matches this last weekend. She leads the team with eight goals and is just one back of the all-time freshman goal record in a single season. Paula Guarda scored nine goals during her freshman year in 1994.

Single Season Goals (Freshman)
1. Paula Guarda (1994) - 9
2. Kylee Kim-Bustillos (2017) - 8
3. Lisamarie La Vallee (2003) - 6
4. Jodie Vlasak (1995) - 5
5. Four tied with 4

11 Years of Dedini

Sacramento State head coach Randy Dedini enters his 11th season leading the Hornets. He is the longest tenured and winningest coach in program history in terms of both total wins and winning percentage. He has won two Big Sky titles - the only two in program history - in his 10 seasons with Sacramento State.

Coach of the Year

Sacramento State head coach Randy Dedini was named Big Sky Coach of the Year following the Hornets' 6-2-2 conference finish last season. The award was Dedini's third in 10 years at the helm in Sacramento - Dedini was also named Big Sky Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2010.