SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State women's soccer returned to Hornet Field Sunday afternoon for their 2018 season home opener. They hosted UC Davis as well as a welcome event for all-student athletes on campus. The Hornets came up just short after a late Aggies header put the game away, 2-1.
The first half passed relatively quietly for the Hornets, who managed just on shot through the first 45 minutes of play. UC Davis took just five shots themselves as the two teams traded possessions through the first period.
While the first half may have lacked in shots, it certainly did not lack in physicality. The Hornets and Aggies racked up a combined 11 fouls in the first 45 minutes, though there were many more occasions where a player found themselves knocked to the ground while play continued around them. Each team picked up a yellow in the first, one to the Hornets' Julia Herrera ('38) and another to UC Davis' Aliyah Walker (44').
Both offenses showed more signs of life in the second half. UC Davis took six more shots while the Hornets took three. Despite being outshot 11-4 in the match, the Hornets were very efficient with their shots, placing three on goal compared to the Aggies' six.
The first score of the game came in the 52nd minute. With UC Davis threatening, senior defender Kristie Braken-Guelke sent a cross into the box from the near side. The ball got lost in the crowd and barely managed to skip its way past the defense and Hornets goalie Ailey Collins to give the Aggies to 1-0 advantage.
The Hornets countered shortly after, putting together a number of nice efforts on quick breaks own the field. One of those quick breaks resulted in a score as midfielder Bonnie Ford laced a nice cross to Kylee-Kim Bustillos at the top of the box. Kim-Bustillos put a great touch on the ball, sending it out to Erika Sosa on the right side of the box. Sosa tapped the ball, sending it bouncing past the outstretched arms of UC Davis' keeper, Alexis Smith.
For Sosa, it was her first goal of the season. Although she is still looking for her first score, last season's points leader Kim-Bustillos continues to find herself involved in the offense as she picked up her third assist of the season on the score. For Ford, it was her first assist.
Sosa's goal evened the match at one apiece and that is where stayed things until the 88th minute. UC Davis, on their 11th corner kick attempt of the afternoon, finally got the header they had been looking for all day.
Margot Ridgeway, who stands at 6'1" for UC Davis, got a clean connection on a ball high above the defense and headed it for the go-ahead score.
Like the first half, the second half continued to be physical between the rivals. There were another 14 fouls in the final 45 minutes, 10 by UC Davis and four by the Hornets. The Aggies' Ari Zamora was charged with the team's second yellow of the day in the 71st minute.
Sacramento State will hit the road once again for their next match as they travel just outside of Sacramento to take on Pacific in Stockton. That match, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 31, will start at 5:00 pm. The Hornets return home to host Nevada on Friday, Sept. 7. The full Sacramento State women's soccer schedule, including game times and links to follow the action, can be found online at HornetSports.com.