WOMEN’S SOCCER CLINCHES POSTSEASON SPOT, ADVANCES TO THIRD STRAIGHT TOURNAMENT

WOMEN’S SOCCER CLINCHES POSTSEASON SPOT, ADVANCES TO THIRD STRAIGHT TOURNAMENT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State women's soccer team (8-7-4, 3-3-4) clinched their third straight Big Sky tournament bid with a 1-1 draw Friday night against Northern Arizona University (9-9-1, 4-5-1). The Hornets will be either the No. 5 seed of No. 6 seed, depending on the outcome of tonight's Idaho vs. Eastern Washington matchup.

EDIT: Idaho defeated Eastern Washington 2-1 Friday night, meaning Sacramento State enters the Big Sky tournament as the No. 6 seed. They will face the No. 3 seed Northern Colorado on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 10:05 a.m. at EWU Soccer Field in Cheney, Washington. A full tournament bracket can be found here. 

With a North Dakota loss this morning, the Hornets entered today's match knowing they needed at least a draw in order to secure a playoff spot. Things didn't look great early as Northern Arizona - also in need of a win or a draw - pressed on offense early and often.

The Lumberjacks were able to take advantage of a Hornet misstep, stealing the ball just outside the box. Adrian Nixt, NAU's leading scorer, found herself in a 1v1 with Sacramento State's goalkeeper Aaliyah Fesili. She was able to tap the ball into the top left corner for a 1-0 advantage in just the 17th minute of play.

After half, the Hornets pressed back hard, holding possession deep in NAU territory. Their aggressiveness paid off as NAU committed a foul inside the box, giving the Hornets and Kylee-Kim Bustillos a penalty kick. She drilled the ball passed the keeper for the equalizer in the 69th minute.

For Kim-Bustillos, the goal was her 11th of the season, moving her into a tie for fifth-most goals scored in a single season in women's soccer program history. She has already scored more goals than any freshman in the history of the program (previous record was nine) and, with at least one game remaining, has an opportunity to further climb the charts. A full list can be found below.

The score remained the same, knotted 1-1, through the rest of regulation and two overtime periods. As a result, both Sacramento State and Northern Arizona are secured a postseason bid. Currently, the Hornets are the five seed with NAU six. With an Idaho win later tonight, the tiebreakers would shake out as such that NAU moves up a spot into the five seed and Sacramento State into the six.

Sacramento State made the playoffs last year, as well, making this just the second time in the program's history that the women's team has advanced to three straight postseasons (last, 2005-2007).

Last season, the Hornets were eliminated in the first round, falling 3-2 to Northern Arizona. This season, they are expected to draw either Portland State (#4) or Northern Colorado (#3) in the first round of the tournament.

Sacramento State's first tournament match will be Wednesday, Nov. 1 at Eastern Washington's EWU Soccer Field at either 11 am or 1 pm, depending on final seeding.

Most Goals - Single Season
1. Katie McCoy (2007) - 14
2. Jessica Mackiewicz (1998) - 13
3. Lisa Wrightsman (2000) - 12
    Paula Guarda (1997) - 12
5. Kylee Kim-Bustillos (2017) - 11
    Paula Guarda (1996) - 11