CEDAR CITY, Utah – The Sacramento State women's soccer team overcame a two-goal deficit Friday afternoon to level the score 2-2 against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds. Unfortunately, a late T-Birds goal ended the Hornets' chance at a comeback as Sacramento State fell, 3-2, on the road.
Southern Utah (2-11, 1-3 Big Sky) came out aggressively against Sacramento State (3-9-2, 2-3 Big Sky), going up 1-0 just 50 seconds into the match. The next 20 minutes were all Thunderbirds as they piled up seven shots and owned possession. Southern Utah made it 2-0 on a penalty kick in the 26th minute.
But Sacramento State was far from done. Just four minutes later, the Hornets were awarded a penalty kick of their own after senior captain Caitlin Prothe was knocked over inside the Southern Utah box. Ariana Nino took the kick for the Hornets, driving it into the lower near corner for Sacramento State's first goal of the game.
For Nino, the goal was her second of the season. She took a team-high four shots on Friday, placing two of them on goal.
The equalizer came in the 61st minute as Prothe took a well-placed through ball from Aubrey Goodwill and outworked her defender for a good look on the goal. Prothe punched one in across the box and past the reach of the diving Southern Utah keeper to level the score, 2-2.
Prothe has now scored three goals this season, tying her for most on the team with Skylar Littlefield. Prothe has now scored twice in the team's last three games.
For Goodwill, it is her second assist of the season. She recorded her first in a nearly identical play last Friday against Idaho State.
Unfortunately, Southern Utah cut the Hornets' comeback attempt short with a goal in the 82nd minute. With the Thunderbirds' Mackenzie Lawrence bearing down on the box, Hornets keeper Kaylyn Evans attacked the oncoming striker. She took an unlucky slip and, after losing her footing, left the goal open for an easy score for Lawrence.
Sacramento State had other opportunities throughout the rest of the half, taking four more shots after Prothe's goal, but was unable to convert on any of the chances.
The 3-2 loss drops Sacramento State's overall record to 3-9-2 while their Big Sky record falls to 2-3. Southern Utah improves to 2-11 overall while picking up their first conference win, moving to 1-3.
The Hornets will travel to Northern Arizona next for their final road conference match of the season. The Hornets and Lumberjacks will kick things off on Sunday at noon. For more details, be sure to visit the Sacramento State women's soccer schedule online at HornetSports.com.