Women’s soccer look to improve from last season

(From left to right) Fresno State soccer players Mariona Segales, Melissa Ellis and Emma Chivers running the ball down the field against University of the Pacific on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. (Larry Valenzuela/ The Collegian)

As a new season commences for Fresno State women’s soccer, a tie against the University of Oregon and a win against University of the Pacific has the team off to an undefeated start.

The ‘Dogs finished last season with an overall record of 6-10-4 and a conference record of 5-3-3, and making the Mountain West (MW) tournament, where they lost 2-1 against San Jose State University. 

At the start of the 2018 season, the Bulldogs played against the University of Montana and got their first win of the season.

However, Fresno State would go on to lose the next game against Drake University and tie the home opener against Sacramento State University. 

After facing Sacramento State, the Bulldogs would go on to lose seven out of their next eight games and wouldn’t get another win until their game against San Diego State University. 

The Bulldogs’ regular season ended better than how it started. The ‘Dogs’ final eight games saw them win five, tie two and only lose one.

In the postseason, the Bulldogs went up against San Jose State, a team that previously had tied with them 1-1. This time, it would be different, however, Fresno State would lose 2-1, bringing an end to a tough season. 

The ‘Dogs ranked within the top half of the conference in points, goals, goals per game, assists, assists per game, saves and corner kicks. Also, forward Ele Avery was named to the All-MW second team.

Coming into the 2019 season, the Bulldogs hope to build on the experience they have gathered the previous season.

Fresno State brought back All-MW second team selection Avery, leading scorer Emma Chivers and 14 others. The team also added 11 new players to the roster.

To start the season, the ‘Dogs played two exhibition matches against Cal Poly and Sacramento State. The Bulldogs won both games 2-0 and 2-1, respectively. 

The Bulldogs’ home opener saw them go against the Ducks, who had a record of 2-0 against Fresno State. The last time these two teams met, Oregon beat Fresno State 1-0 in 2015.

The ‘Dogs were able to hold their own against Oregon and were able to tie the game in double overtime, denying the Ducks from leaving Fresno with a win.

Fresno State defeated University of the Pacific 4-2 in the second game of the season, giving the Bulldogs their first win of the regular season at home and keeping them undefeated.

Last season, the Bulldogs had a tough start to their season. Many of their games they lost only by a one-goal margin, which meant they battled in the game but just couldn’t come out with the victory.

 Eventually, the team came together in the second half of the season, playing better soccer and coming out with wins.

After the Oregon game, head coach Brian Zwaschka commented that the team had a desire to learn from its previous season and is looking forward to playing better than last year.

“We are just going to take this one game at a time,” Zwaschka said.  “The team is off to a good start, and we have a good spirit to the team.”

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