SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's soccer team is back in action this Friday and Sunday as they look to rebound from last weekend's trip through Las Vegas. The Hornets continue on the road, traveling to Fresno State to face the Bulldogs on Friday before returning home to host the causeway rival UC Davis Aggies at Hornet Field on Sunday.
How To Watch
Live video and stats for Sacramento State's Friday match against the Fresno State Bulldogs will be available online by visiting HornetSports.com. In-game updates will also be provided on Twitter, @SacStWSoccer.
Sunday's match against the visiting UC Davis Aggies will be streamed live online. Video and live stats can both be found by visiting HornetSports.com. For in-game updates, be sure to follow the team on Twitter, @SacStWSoccer.
The latest Hornets news and links can be found by visiting the 2018 Women's Soccer homepage online at HornetSports.com.
About Last Week
Sacramento State opened their 2018 season with two games on the road in Las Vegas last weekend as a part of the UNLV Invitational. The Hornets went 0-2 over the weekend, falling 2-1 to UC Santa Barbara in double overtime on Friday and again 2-1 in regulation against UNLV.
Defender Christina Lazar (1) scored the team's first goal of the season on Friday, connecting on a free kick from 20 yards out. Midfielder Skylar Littlefield (1) scored the team's lone goal on Sunday.
Every Match Is Close
Last season, all eight of Sacramento State's losses were decided by two goals or fewer. Seven of the eight were decided by just one goal. So far this season, that trend has continued with each of the Hornets' first two matches being decided by just one goal. The last time Sacramento State lost a match by more than two goals was in October of the 2016 season.
Defender Christina Lazar's goal in Friday's match against UC Santa Barbara was the first of her career. A sophomore, Lazar led the team last year in minutes (1,843) though she took just two total shots all season.
Littlefield at Midfield
Sophomore Skylar Littlefield scored her first goal of the season on Sunday against UNLV. She led the team with five shots over the weekend, all of them coming on Sunday. Littlefield started both games over the weekend. She played in all 20 matches last season for Sacramento State while making six starts.
Lend An Assist
Kylee Kim-Bustillos and Tiffany Miras each tallied an assist in Sunday's match at UNLV, the team's first assists of the season. Kim-Bustillos, a sophomore, led the team with four assists last year, while also leading the team with 11 goals. She did not get her first assist last year until mid-September. For Miras, the assist was the first (and her first point) of her Hornets career.
Freshman goalkeeper Ailey Collins made nine saves last Sunday after facing 22 total shots, including 11 on goal. Although she allowed two goals, her nine saves are the most by a Hornets goalie since Aaliyah Fesili made nine in September of last season. The last time a Hornets goalkeeper recorded more than nine saves was Destiny Butcher's 14 saves at Hawaii in 2016, a match the Hornets lost 2-1 in overtime.
The Sacramento State Hornets and UC Davis Aggies will square off for the 20th time on Sunday. All-time, the Aggies lead the Causeway Classic, 11-5-3, though the Hornets won most recently in 2017. The last time the two teams faced each other, the Hornets went into Davis and came out with a 1-0 shutout win. The last time the teams played in Sacramento, the Aggies and Hornets played to a scoreless draw (2OT). All-time, Sacramento State is just 3-6-2 at home against UC Davis.
Sunday's match against UC Davis is the Hornets' home opener. Last year at home, Sacramento State was 5-3-1. They scored 18 goals in those nine games while allowing just nine. Three of their five wins at home were shutouts and they allowed one goal or fewer in six of their nine home matches.
Bullying the Bulldogs
Although Fresno State leads the all-time series matchup 11-7-1 over Sacramento State, the Hornets have had recent success against the Bulldogs both at home and on the road. In addition to last season's 2-1 overtime win, the Hornets are 4-1-2 against the Bulldogs over their last seven matchups dating back to 2009. During that stretch, the Hornets are 2-1 in Fresno.
Sacramento State played two preseason exhibition matches this year, one on the road and one at home, to help prepare for the regular season. The Hornets played to a scoreless draw over three 30-minute periods on the road against San Jose State before tying with Cal, 1-1, at home.
With last season's trip to the Big Sky Tournament, Sacramento State made it three straight years with a postseason appearance. That streak matches the program record for most consecutive seasons in the postseason (last, 2005-07). Since its start in 1994, the Sacramento State women's soccer team has never advanced to four straight postseason tournaments. With a strong 2018 season, the Hornets could break that record this season.
Sacramento State returns three players to the 2018 roster who were named all-conference last season. Caitlin Prothe and Kylee Kim-Bustillos were both honored as first team all-conference while Mikayla Reed was named to the second team.
A Young Squad
The Hornets come into the 2018 season with just three seniors on the roster, including Caitlin Prothe, one of the team's captains. In total there are just eight uppserclassmen on the roster. There are 13 sophomores, though three of them - Kylee Kim-Bustillos, Christina Lazar, and Aaliyah Fesili - were all starters while five others saw significant playing time as freshmen. In addition, the roster includes three freshmen.
Big Sky Preseason Poll
The Sacramento State women's soccer team was picked fifth in the 2018 preseason Big Sky Coaches' Poll. The Hornets received 50 points in the poll, finishing just one point behind fourth-place Northern Arizona (51). They are seven points ahead of the sixth-place program, Portland State (43).
Defending regular season Big Sky champion Eastern Washington was picked to repeat by the conference's coaches, garnering 78 points and eight first place votes. Northern Colorado just edged Montana for the number two spot, totaling 69 points and one first place vote. Montana, who also received one first place vote, collected 66 points.