Coming into the first home game of the season, the Fresno State women’s soccer team had one loss against Drake University and one win against Montana University. So the Bulldogs were looking to gain some momentum with a win against Sacramento State on Friday night at the Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium.
The Bulldogs had a hard fought game that went to a double overtime, but ultimately ended with a 2-2 draw, giving the ‘Dogs the first draw of the season and leaving them with a 1-1-1 record.
At the start, the Hornets seemed to take control by having the first shot on target of the game, but that only lasted a few minutes before the Bulldogs responded with a shot of their own. From then on, the majority of the first half was controlled by the Bulldogs who kept control of the midfield and moved the ball up and down the field with no problem.
Even though the Bulldogs had control of the ball, they were not finding any spaces between the Hornets defenders and had little chances to score. Sacramento State, however, was taking advantage of counter attacks giving the ‘Dogs defense a lot of headaches.
Just before the end of the first half, Sacramento State scored the first goal of the game thanks to a head from inside of the box by Caitlin Prothe. The Bulldogs went into halftime down by one despite their strong performance in the first half.
In the second half of the game, Fresno State came out with urgency – looking for an equalizer they quickly found. Just within two minutes of the second half, midfielder Melissa Ellis got the goal with a well timed header from inside of the box thanks to a cross from another midfielder, Maria Gomez.
After the tying the game, Fresno State appeared to be less aggressive in the pursuit of the ball, leaving the Hornets with more opportunities throughout the second half.
Sacramento State took advantage of a bad backwards pass by the Fresno State defense, leading to a second goal by the Hornets, who take the lead 2-1. The goal seemed to put the Bulldogs in a panic mode, especially since there were only about 15 minutes left in the game.
The ‘Dogs started pressing higher in the field, giving themselves more opportunities, especially with forward Ele Avery’s dangerous crossings from the left side of the field.
With just five minutes left in the second half, Fresno State found the equalizer thanks to an acrobatic throw-in by defender Chloe Chedester who put the ball inside the box giving midfielder Tori Nicolo took a shot that bounced off the Hornets goalkeeper, but eventually went in for the score.
“To get an assist in my first home game is really exciting,” Chedester said after the game. “I have tried the flip throw-in the last two games and is always in the box, so for someone to finally finish it and put the ball in the back of the net it was so exciting.”
After Fresno State’s equalizer and with time winding down, both teams went on the offensive, looking to strike the winning goal of the match. Neither team was lucky and the 90th minute came, sending the game into overtime.
Two 10-minute overtime halves were played with both teams looking for the game winning goal, but with no success. The game finished with a 2-2 tie giving the Hornets and the Bulldogs the first draw in both of their young seasons.
“I feel good about (the game) but we still need to work on a lot of things at the end,” said head coach Brian Zwaschka. “You can’t afford to make mistakes, and we did today and (Sacramento State) scored on both of our mistakes.”