Jun 25, 2019

Not about to give WAC goals

It has been a while since the Fresno State women’s soccer team has given up a goal in Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play.

The stretch goes back 10 games dating back to Nov. 4, 2005 when the Bulldogs defeated Hawaii, 2-1.

That was 702 days ago and includes 1,063 minutes on the field.

Fresno State, which opens up defense of its WAC regular season title tonight when the team hosts San Jose State at 7 p.m., is looking to add to those numbers.

Bulldogs coach Steve Springthorpe said there is a little luck included in having a scoreless steak that continues for that long.

“There’s goals that hit the crossbar that could have gone in,” Springthorpe said. “There’s a couple of factors it takes for it to happen. We have to continue to put pressure on the other offense. Hopefully we can continue [the streak] though.”

Forward Nicole Gutierrez knows it’s also the offense’s job to get back and help on defense but this year’s success has little to do with this season.

“It was awesome,” Gutierrez said of the streak. “But that was last year. This is this year.”

This season, the Bulldogs have already given up 22 goals in 10 games.

The Bulldogs are 5-5 and open conference play against an opponent they could have problems with.

In the WAC tournament semifinals last season, Fresno State needed two overtimes to finally score in its 1-0 victory over San Jose State.

In regular season, the Bulldogs were able to hold on for a 2-0 win at San Jose.

In 2005, Fresno State knocked off the Spartans 1-0 in the WAC tournament championship to earn a bid into the NCAA tournament after losing to them 1-0 at Bulldog Stadium in the regular season.

“It’s going to be a battle,” Springthorpe said of the WAC. “[San Jose State] always plays us tough. It’s always a close game.”

For the Bulldogs to make it to the WAC tournament, they will have to finish in the top six of the conference standings.

“There’s always a log jam in the middle,” Springthorpe said. “We know each other so well, it’s tough.

“You can play the last-place team and lose. It’s about being mentally prepared. Top to bottom, it’s always tough.”

Looking ahead…

Conference matches in October.

• Oct. 12, 7 p.m. vs. San Jose State.

• Oct. 14, 7 p.m. @ Hawaii.

• Oct. 19, 3 p.m. vs. La. Tech.

• Oct. 21, 2 p.m. vs. Utah St.

• Oct. 26, 3 p.m. @ Boise.

• Oct. 28, 1 p.m. @ Idaho.

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