CHENEY, Wash. – With less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Skylar Littlefield delivered the game-winner against the defending Big Sky champion Eastern Washington Eagles. The Hornets defeated the Eagles 1-0 in their Big Sky opener.
The Hornets' (2-6-2, 1-0-0) game-winning score started to develop when midfielder Caitlin Prothe sent a deep service to Bonnie Ford inside the box. Ford, who was one-on-one with her defender, had her shot deflected by the Eagles' (4-4-2, 0-1-0) goalie.
Littlefield was following the play perfectly and picked up the deflection with plenty of space. She rocketed home the shot from just outside the top of the box to lift the Hornets, 1-0, over Eastern Washington.
Friday afternoon's match was the Big Sky conference opener for both teams. The Eagles came into Friday's contest with a 4-3-2 record and in the top spot in the conference. They were also ranked seventh in the West Region according to United Soccer Coaches. The Eagles have been ranked among the region's top 10 every week so far this season.
Despite a seemingly quiet 1-0 score, the Hornets and Eagles combined for an impressive 26 total shots, including 15 on goal. Eastern Washington had the edge in both categories, leading 15-11 in shots and 8-7 in shots on goal. The Eagles also led in corner kicks, 5-2.
Eastern Washington put the Hornets defense and keeper Kaylyn Evans to work early in the match. Through the game's first 10 minutes, Evans had already made three saves and faced four shots. In total, the junior goalkeeper piled up eight saves, two off her career-high.
In addition to her game-winner, Littlefield took one other shot in the contest. The goal was her second of the season, tied for most on the team with fellow sophomore Christina Lazar.
As a team, nine different Hornets have scored a goal this season. Of the team's 11 total goals, nine have been scored by sophomores or freshmen.
The shutout win – the first such win of the season for Sacramento State - brings the Hornets to 2-6-2 overall and 1-0-0 in conference this season.
Big Sky play resumes on Sunday as the Hornets continue their northwest trip with a stop in Idaho to take on the Vandals. Sunday's match is scheduled for a 1:00 pm kickoff. For more details, be sure to visit the Sacramento State women's soccer schedule online at HornetSports.com.