SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State closed out the regular season Sunday with a thrilling, 1-0 win over the Eastern Washington Eagles. The Hornets clinched a first round bye with the win, while also setting a new conference record by extending their unbeaten streak to 17.
Sacramento State closes out the regular season with an 11-1-6 overall record and a 5-0-4 mark in the Big Sky. Eastern Washington, which plays again on Wednesday, is now 9-6-2 overall and 6-1-1 in league.
The Hornet's 11-1-6 regular season record is its best ever, setting a new mark for most wins in the regular season (previously 10, 2007) and fewest losses (previously three, also 2007).
WHAT A DAY!@EWUSoccer & @MontanaGrizSOC will play for the regular season title and No. 1 seed Wednesday in Cheney!— Big Sky Soccer (@BigSky_Soccer) October 27, 2019
No. 1 Seed - EWU/UM
No. 2 Seed - @SacStateWSoccer
No. 3 Seed - EWU/UM
No. 4 Seed - @UNC_BearsSoccer
No. 5 Seed - @NAUWomensSoccer
No. 6 Seed - @psuviksWSOC pic.twitter.com/9ujoBTSeGz
Sunday's win clinched a first round bye for Sacramento State in the upcoming 2019 Big Sky Championship. The Hornets, who currently sit atop the conference with 19 points (5-0-4), are guaranteed to finish second, regardless of Wednesday's result between the Eagles and Montana Griz.
In addition to postseason implications, Sunday's win was also record-setting for the Hornets as they extended their unbeaten streak to 17 matches, longest in Big Sky history. Sacramento State passed the 2013-14 Portland State squad, which previously held the record at 16.
Sunday's action was defined early by winds gusting up to 36 miles per hour.
In the first half, that wind was at the back of the Eagles, who took advantage of the situation to pepper keeper Aaliyah Fesili and the Hornets with shots on goal. Eagles piled up eight shots in the half, placing five of them on goal, but were unable to sneak anything by the Hornets' keeper.
In the second half, it was Sacramento State's turn to use the wind, taking seven shots of their own, placing four of them on frame.
It was Aubrey Goodwill's shot in the 72nd minute, coming on a free kick from just outside the box, that proved to be the game winner. Goodwill drilled one low and untouched through the crowd into the near corner for her second goal of the season and her second game-winner.
In total, Sacramento State was outshot by Eastern Washington, 12-11, but the Hornets led in shots on frame, 7-6. Both teams had four corner kicks, though the Eagles did not have any in the second half while the Hornets had three.
After making five saves in the first half, Fesili added just one more in the second, completing her Big Sky-leading 10th shutout of the year with six saves. She closes out the regular season with an 0.61 goals against average and an .888 save percentage, both best in the league.
Sacramento State will head next to Greeley, Colorado for the 2019 Big Sky Soccer Championship. With a first round bye, the Hornets will see their next action on Friday, Nov. 8.