Fresno State freshman forward Ashari Hines scored her first collegiate goal Sunday against the Colorado State Rams.
And her second, and her third.
The Bulldogs women’s soccer team was down 2-0 before she scored her first goal in the 30th minute of the contest. Her next two came after the half, one assisted by Jaycee Bingham, to complete her hat trick en route to Fresno State’s 4-2 victory.
“The beauty of Ashari’s game is that at the beginning, she was struggling to find form,” said Fresno State coach Brian Zwaschka. “Over the last couple of weeks, her focus level has gone way up and her attention to details and her knowledge of her roles have been significantly sharper.
“The way she was passing the ball and helping other people become dangerous was huge. Getting a hat-trick as a senior is difficult, never mind getting one as a freshman.”
Hines said she was following the game plan, as the Bulldogs have focused on execution.
“Today, we followed our plan even when we went down, and that’s what helped us,” she said.
Senior forward and Fresno State’s leading scorer Jaycee Bingham added an unassisted goal to put the game away in the 88th minute.
“In the second half, we came out ready to execute and we put [the Rams] away like we should have earlier,” Bingham said. “We know we can score and that we have the talent to win our games. We just need to put it together so we can finish our season as strong as we can.”
The ‘Dogs have now won their only two matches against Colorado State since beating the Rams last year 3-0.
“Both teams are tied for points in league, which meant it was going to be a cagey match,” said Zwaschka. “The Rams had a very good gameplan, and they stuck with it. It took us too long to get into our gameplan. When we did execute — that’s when we created openings and chances — I was thrilled that we finally put some [goals] away.”
Wyoming takes Friday’s contest
On Friday, the Bulldogs hosted the Wyoming Cowgirls, a match in which Wyoming forward Kaitlyn Lomsnes scored twice. The first goal was tallied at the 10’ mark and the second with three minutes to go to beat Fresno State 2-0. The ‘Dogs had more shots attempted with 15 on the game, while Wyoming had 9.
“[The Cowgirls] are a very good team, and they are in form at the moment,” Zwaschka said. “We felt like we did a lot of things right, but on the night, they were better in both boxes. They were better no matter what we threw at them. And at some point, it’s about who scores.
“At the end, when we were chasing the game, we had to risk getting countered, which is how they got the second goal. They scored it too late for us to come back by then.”
The weekend games move the Bulldogs into eighth place in the conference, putting them in a three-way tie with Boise State and UNLV. Fresno State is now 3-5 in Mountain West play, and 4-13 overall.
Looking forward, the ‘Dogs will play Air Force (6-8-1) on Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the Cadet Soccer Stadium. Fresno State will then return home on Sunday for a 1 p.m. matchup with Colorado College (9-4-3) at Bulldog Stadium.
“We have realized that our backs are against the wall, since every single point is going to make a difference from now on in the league,” said Zwashcka.“We’ve got another tough road game against Air Force, and we’ve been chasing that pivotal sixth spot. We’re going to go in there and do our best.”