Fresno State junior defender Rianna Cota battles Colorado State forward Gianna Bertana (9) over the ball during the ‘Dogs’ 4-2 victory over the Rams Oct. 19. Photo by Darlene Wendels/The Collegian
The Fresno State women’s soccer team lost matches over the weekend to the Air Force Falcons and Colorado College Tigers, eliminating the ‘Dogs from the Mountain West Conference playoffs.
In the first game, the Dogs traveled to the Cadet Soccer Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to play Air Force in their final away game of the season Friday night.
Air Force scored first in the 19th minute of the game, then put three more goals past Fresno State goalkeeper Domenique Banta in the 27th, 39th and 78th minutes.
“I am disappointed that our team effort was not good enough in the first half,” Fresno State head coach Brian Zwaschka said. “We got punished, and we were left with too big of a hill to climb. Credit to Air Force for putting the game away in the first half.”
The second game of the weekend was a much closer match. Playing for a playoff berth, the Bulldogs hosted Colorado College Sunday in their second-to-last home game. The Dogs scored two minutes into the game, as freshman midfielder Alissa Pham netted the ball off senior forward Jaycee Bingham’s assist.
After the goal, a red card on Fresno State’s Dani Rodrigues left the ‘Dogs down a player for the rest of the contest.
“Having to play 88 minutes with a player short was the biggest factor in the game,” said Zwaschka. “So Colorado College was going to find spaces we weren’t going to be able to cover.”
The rest of the game went the Tigers’ way, as they scored in the 17th and 64th minutes, leaving the final score at 2-1. This dropped the ‘Dogs at 3-7 in conference play with one game remaining.
“Unfortunately, the winning goal came in the strangest way, when I thought we had a good share of the run of play in the second half,” said Zwaschka. “We did a good job regrouping in the second half, considering we were going to have to continue to play with a man down for the rest of the game. I’m really proud of the team for doing everything that was asked of them, but it just wasn’t enough in the end.”
The loss eliminates Fresno State from a chance at the playoffs. Its last game will be at home for Senior Night against the San Jose State Spartans on Friday.
Seniors Bingham and Joana Lopez will be honored before the 7 p.m. match.
“The exciting thing is always to look forward to the experience gained for these young players in the games this season,” said Zwaschka. “We still have one more game to play, and we still want to make sure we finish strongly. It is our Senior Day, so we want to make sure we send them out in style.”