O'DONNELL'S GOAL LEADS WOMEN'S SOCCER TO 1-0 UPSET OF NO. 10 CALIFORNIA
BERKELEY, Calif. - Freshman Kelsey O'Donnell scored in the 18th minute, propelling the Sacramento State women's soccer team to a 1-0 upset victory over the California Golden Bears on Friday, Oct. 2.
With the win, the Hornets improved to 5-3-2 on the season, while the Golden Bears fell to 6-3-0. The victory was the first for the Hornets over a ranked opponent since recording a 1-0 win over No. 19 Utah on October 5, 2003.
After California missed on their first two scoring opportunities in the opening minutes, the Hornets took control of the contest offensively for a 10 minute stretch. In the 11th minute, freshman Megan Burg had a shot saved by Golden Bear 'keeper Gina Pellegrini, and followed that chance up with another in the 12th minute that was pushed just high.
In the 18th minute, junior Leah Larot outran a Cal defender for a ball near the endline, and slotted a perfect ball to O'Donnell, who one-touched the ball into the left corner of the net to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead.
The Golden Bears had a strong opportunity to tie the contest in the 27th minute, but Alex Morgan's shot went off the crossbar, and the score remained 1-0 at intermission.
At the half, the Bears held a 10-5 advantage in shots and a 4-3 advantage in shots on goal.
The second half saw California take nine shots, including seven on goal that were saved by the reigning Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week, sophomore goalkeeper Savannah Abercrombie.
The Hornets had several counter-attacking chances late to increase the lead, as Larot had a pair of shots saved by Pellegrini in the 88th and 89th minute, with sophomore Caitlin Pulver pushing a shot wide also in the 89th minute.
"Today's match was a total team effort up and down the roster," head coach Randy Dedini said following the win. "We played outstanding defensively, with Savannah making some key saves in goal and the defensive backline stepping up and deflecting a lot of chances away."
O'Donnell, who recently made the move from the defensive backline back to forward, recorded her second goal of the season, and first career game-winner. Larot, the team's leading goal scoring, recorded her first assist of the season.
Abercrombie recorded her fifth clean sheet of the season, while collecting a career-high 11 saves. She now has 13 career shutouts, and needs just one more to pass Stacy Hines (1994-97) as the school's all-time leader.
For the match, the Golden Bears outshot the Hornets 19-9, with Morgan taking eight shots, including four on goal, for California. Burg and Larot led the Hornets with two shots apiece.
Sacramento State returns to action on Sunday, October 4 as they host San Jose State in their final non-conference matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.