WOMEN'S SOCCER KNOCKS OFF WEBER STATE, 3-1; SECURES SPOT IN BIG SKY TOURNAMENT
Elece McBride (left) and Jordan Carlberg are all smiles after McBride's second of two goals.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Despite the monsoon like conditions, the Sacramento State women's soccer team used three first-half goals to knock off Big Sky Conference foe Weber State, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon and the Hornets clinched a spot in the postseason conference tournament.
The top four teams in the Big Sky meet at the No. 1 seed's home field for the conference postseason tournament. After Sunday's games, Northern Arizona clinched the Big Sky regular season title following a 2-1 overtime win at Eastern Washington. The Lumberjacks earned the league championship with a 5-0-1 mark thus far in conference play with one game remaining. Portland State, Northern Colorado and the Hornets earned the other three slots.
With so much on the line Sunday, the Hornets had far from ideal conditions to play. But in the driving rain, fierce wind and sinking mud, the Hornets used two goals from Elece McBride and another from Laura Bahno to claim their fourth Big Sky victory.
With the win, Sacramento State improved to 7-8-1 (4-2-0 Big Sky) while Weber State slid to 2-15-1 (1-4-1).
The drenched field and driving rain made for tough playing conditions.
The nasty conditions didn't seem to phase the Hornets, as head coach Randy Dedini's squad dodged standing puddles of water and Weber State defenders alike in scoring three first half goals.
Bahno scored the first goal for the Hornets in the fifth minute when she launched in a crossing pass from 30 yards out that skipped off the water-logged turf and past WSU keeper Ryann Waldman.
In the 21st minute of the game, McBride notched the first of her two scores when she blasted a shot from just inside the box that deflected off the hip of a Weber State defender and slipped just inside the far post.
McBride scored again in the 33rd minute off a penalty kick when Weber State was whistled for a hard foul inside the box. McBride's shot stayed low and tucked inside the post.
Weber State got on the board in the 65th minute when Alyssa Toomey's shot slipped underneath a diving Savannah Abercrombie after a corner kick put the ball into the box.
Elece McBride's first goal slipped just past WSU keeper Ryann Waldman and inside the far post.
As a team, the Hornets had a slim 17-16 edge in shots while Weber State had a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks and an 11-7 lead in shots on goal.
In the net, Abercrombie made 10 saves for the Hornets - often very difficult stops as the wind whipped the ball and the wet ground caused awkward bounces. Waldman made four stops for Weber State.
The Hornets have just one more regular season game left this year, traveling to Portland State for a 4 p.m. match on Friday. The other two Big Sky tournament seeds also play on Oct. 29 to close out the regular season, with Northern Colorado visiting Northern Arizona.
Before the game, Leah Larot, Cori Shreve, Erin Tarantino and Felicia Novoa were honored for Senior Day in the Hornets' final regular season game of 2010.
Victoria Ramirez goes head first after the ball on Sunday.
Leah Larot shows the play was no less physical on account of the sloppy weather.