WOMEN'S SOCCER OPENS BIG SKY PLAY THIS WEEKEND AT EASTERN WASHINGTON, IDAHO

WOMEN'S SOCCER OPENS BIG SKY PLAY THIS WEEKEND AT EASTERN WASHINGTON, IDAHO

Women's Soccer Weekly Notes, 9/19 (PDF)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's soccer team kicks off Big Sky conference play this week with a road trip to Eastern Washington and Idaho. Sacramento State is playing for their fourth straight Big Sky tournament appearance this season and it all begins Friday. 

How To Watch

Sacramento State's Friday afternoon match at Eastern Washington will stream online at WatchBigSky.com as well as on Pluto.tv and the Pluto TV app, channel 234. Live stats will be available at HornetStats.com. In-game updates will also be available on Twitter, @SacStWSoccer. 

Friday at Eastern Washington, 3:00 PM
Watch: WatchBigSky.com / Pluto.tv, ch. 234
Live stats: HornetStats.com
Twitter: twitter.com/sacstwsoccer

Sunday's road match at Idaho will also stream online at WatchBigSky.com, as well as on Pluto.tv and the Pluto TV app, channel 242. Live stats can be found at HornetSports.com while in-game updates will again be provided on Twitter, @SacStWSoccer. 

Thursday vs. Cal, 7:00 PM
Watch: WatchBigSky.com / Pluto.tv, ch. 242
Live stats: HornetStats.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sacstwsoccer

All links, news, and updates can always be found by visiting the 2018 Women's Soccer Schedule online at HornetSports.com.

About Last Week

The Hornets wrapped their last week of non-conference competition with a 0-1-1 week at San Francisco and at home against Saint Mary's. 

Sacramento State was shut out on the road, falling 5-0 in San Francisco to the Dons. On Sunday, the team returned home and battled Saint Mary's to a 1-1 draw. Senior Sarah Sherwood scored her first career goal in the match for the Hornets. 

Against Eastern Washington

Sacramento State has faced the Eastern Washington Eagles 21 times since 1998. The Hornets lead the all-time series 10-8-3. Nine of those 21 matches have come at Eastern Washington, where the Hornets are 4-4-1. 

Over their last five matches, EWU holds the advantage, 3-1-1 over the Hornets. Last year, Sacramento State shut out the Eagles and their high-powered offense, playing to a scoreless draw. That match was also the first conference game of the season for the two teams. 

Scouting the Eagles

  • Eastern Washington comes into the first week of Big Sky competition with a 4-3-2 overall record, including a 2-1-2 mark at home. 
  • The Eagles are ranked seventh in the West Region. 
  • Last year, the Eagles finished atop the Big Sky with a 16-6-1 overall record, including an 8-1-1 record in conference. 
  • Brooke Dunbar leads EWU with two goals on the season while four other players have each scored one.
  • As a team, EWU is averaging under one goal per game and have been shut out four times this season. 
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Kelsee Winston was named this week's Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week after posting two shutouts with nine saves last week.
  • The Eagles graduated three-time Big Sky Offensive MVP and the conference's all-time leader in points (109) and goals (44), Chloe Williams.

Regionally Ranked

Eastern Washington enters this first week of conference play ranked seventh in the West Region. They have been among the top 10 in the West Region in each of the season's first five weeks.

Against Idaho

Sacramento State has faced the Idaho Vandals just four times in their history as the Vandals joined the Big Sky conference in 2014. Idaho leads the all-time series, 1-2-1. In two matches in Moscow, Sacramento State is 0-1-1 against the Vandals. 

The two teams also played in Moscow last season, playing out to a scoreless draw after two overtime periods. 

Scouting the Vandals

  • Idaho enters the week with a 3-5-1 overall record, including a 1-0-1 record on their home turf at the Kibbie Dome.
  • Last year, Idaho finished with an overall record of 8-9-2, including 4-5-1 in Big Sky. Their seventh-placed finish in the conference was one behind Sacramento State and one out of the postseason. 
  • Morgan Crosby and Kayla Watanabe lead the team with two goals each, though Crosby also has one assist for a team-high five points. Crosby was also named the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week earlier this season.
  • The Vandals enter this first week of conference play ranked 113th in the first edition of the NCAA RPI.  They are the top-ranked team in the Big Sky, with Northern Colorado just behind at 116.
  • Since joining the Big Sky for the 2014 season, Idaho soccer has been incredibly successful at home, playing to a 20-10-9 record on their home pitch over the last four-plus seasons.

A Similar Start

Like this season, Sacramento State started their conference schedule last year with road games through Eastern Washington and Idaho. The Hornets picked up two well-earned draws on the road to start last season's conference schedule.

Conference Kickoff

Every one of the Big Sky's 10 women's soccer teams is in action this weekend as the conference season officially gets underway. Coming into this weekend, Sacramento State is eighth in the standings, though everything essentially resents with Friday's match. 

The top six teams at the end of the conference season will qualify for the Big Sky Tournament, hosted by the regular season champion. The Hornets have advanced to three straight Big Sky Tournaments. 

Non-Conference Recap

Sacramento State played to a 1-6-2 record through nine non-conference games this season. The schedule included five matches on the road, including one at a regionally ranked San Francisco. Their lone win was a 3-2 victory at home against Nevada. 

Spreading It Around

Nine different players have scored a goal for Sacramento State this season. Christina Lazar is the only player to have scored twice while the other eight each have one goal. Of the nine total goal-scorers, five of them scored their first career goal. Last year, the Hornets had goals from just six different players.

Postseason Presence

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. 

Take Caution

Sacramento State's 12 yellow cards are the most in the Big Sky and tied for fifth most in the nation. Defender Julia Herrera is the only repeat offender on the team and has received three yellows this season. 

Goal-Happy Hornets

The Hornets have scored 11 goals through nine games this season, second most in the Big Sky Conference. Only Northern Colorado (13) has more. At the same time, they have allowed 21 goals this season, also second most in the league. Only Idaho State (28) has allowed more. 

Lend an Assist

Sophomore forward Kylee Kim-Bustillos leads the team with four assists this season. That matches her team-leading four assists from all of last season. Kim-Bustillos is in a three-way tie for most assists in the Big Sky Conference.   

Evans Piles Up the Saves

Goalkeeper Kaylyn Evans ranks 10th in the Big Sky with 3.17 saves per game. She has 19 total saves in six games, including a masterful 10-save match against CSUN earlier this season. 

Playing to a Draw

The Hornets have two draws through their first nine games this season. Last year, Sacramento State recorded four total ties, tied for second most in a season in program history. All four of those ties came in conference competition, which set a new program record for conference draws.  

Battling the Injury Bug

Sacramento State has dealt with a plethora of injuries this season as starters Kaylyn Evans, Mi Wilson, Christina Lazar, Caitlin Prothe, Bonnie Ford, Aaliyah Fesili, and more have all missed significant time through the first half of the season.