After entering the weekend in a three-way tie for second place in the conference standings, not much has changed for the Hornets after the weekend’s results. Sacramento State (9-7-2, 3-2-1) is still in a three-way tie with Weber State (8-6-3, 3-2-1) and Montana (9-7-1, 3-2-1), but now sits third in the league standings. Portland State’s 2-0 record over the weekend catapulted the Vikings (4-12-1, 4-2-0) into second place, trailing league-leading Idaho State (9-7-0, 5-1-0).
Sacramento State’s match at 7 p.m. this Friday at PGE Park in Portland will be crucial in the Hornets’ quest for a second straight appearance in the Big Sky postseason tournament. The Hornets were the second seed a season ago after returning to the tournament following a three-year absence. The top four teams in the regular season conference standings advance to the tournament, and with a victory in Portland, the Hornets would guarantee themselves a postseason spot.
Even with a loss or a tie, Sacramento State could still advance to the tournament depending on the results from Idaho State at Weber State, Montana at Eastern Washington and Northern Arizona at Northern Colorado.
The Bengals, currently first in the Big Sky, have clinched a No. 1 or No. 2 seed and control their own destiny in pursuit of the regular season title. With a victory against Weber State, Idaho State is guaranteed the title and the right to host the tournament in Pocatello. If Portland State defeats the Hornets, and Idaho State falls, the Vikings would clinch the No. 1 seed and host the tournament.
A Quick Recap
Sacramento State finds itself in this predicament after a 1-1 finish in its two matches last weekend. The Hornets started off with a 2-1 overtime victory at home against Northern Colorado on Friday. Junior forward Kayelyn Satkowski scored her team-leading ninth goal of the season in the 96th minute to give the Hornets the golden goal. The 2004 Casa Roble graduate broke free of the Bears’ defense at about midfield before Katie Rorabaugh’s pass out of the back left a clear path for Satkowski as she headed toward goal. In a one-one-one with the goalkeeper, Satkowski buried her shot to the left. Despite outshooting Northern Colorado 20-8, Sacramento State’s scoring chances were limited by another tremendous goalkeeping performance from the opponent. Chrissy Marvin had nine saves to her credit before surrendering the game winner. It was Satkowski’s third game-winning goal this year and her nine scores rank fifth in single-season history. The Hornets are now 7-1-1 when Satkowski scores or records an assist.
In Flagstaff, Sacramento State was shutout for the fifth time this season in a 1-0 loss to Northern Arizona on Sunday. The lone goal of the match came off the foot of the Lumberjacks’ Cee Cee Odorfer. It was her sixth goal of the season as she fired a shot past Sacramento State keeper Jenny Lawrence from about 20 yards out.
Sacramento State berated the Lumberjacks’ goal in the final 12 minutes, firing off seven shots. Freshman Beverly Goebel, who led the team with five looks, even cracked the post, but could not cross the goal line on Sunday.
Close to History
Sacramento State has nine victories this year and is just one shy of setting a new program record. Teams from 1994, 1998 and 2000 produced nine-victory seasons, but reaching double digits would be a first for the Hornets in their 13-year history.
While Sacramento State’s offense has put away 26 goals, led by Kayelyn Satkowski’s nine strikes, the Hornet defense has also contributed. The team is giving up just 1.11 goals per match, a mark that would set a new program record if maintained the rest of the regular season.
Satkowski’s nine goals are a new career high and rank fifth in single-season program history. Currently, Weber State’s Natalie Ellis is the only other player in the Big Sky to match Satkowski’s mark with nine goals of her own.
Satkowski does lead the team and the conference with 21 points, an average of 1.17 points per game. Before the start of the 2006 season, head coach Katie Poynter acknowledged that none of her players had worked harder in the offseason than Satkowski, who was mainly used off the bench in 2005. This year, the third-year striker is one of only four players to start all 18 games, and she is just two points shy of cracking the top-five in single-season history.
While examining single-season records, senior Maggie Murphy has been an integral part of the Sacramento State women’s soccer program the last four years. Murphy has not missed a start since Aug. 28, 2005, a streak that spans 35 matches. Her 72 career starts are second to only Erin Harrington (76, 1994-97) in program history. Murphy’s 11 career assists also tie for third all-time.
While Sacramento State still has the opportunity to make noise in the Big Sky Conference this season, it is no question that the Hornets are also built for the future. Looking ahead to 2007, the Hornets return four of this year’s top five scorers, including juniors Kayelyn Satkowski and Katie McCoy and freshmen Beverly Goebel and Kim Kemper. The foursome has combined for 17 goals and 14 assists, including five game winners.
In fact, the team loses only Maggie Murphy and Kelly Novak, returning Satkowski, McCoy, Goebel, midfielder Sarah Howard, midfielder Missy Matzen, defender Katie Burton, defender Katie Rorabaugh, defender Kara Taylor and goalkeeper Jenny Lawrence.