Bulldogs go back to back in shutout victories

Fresno State midfielder Lorena Montanes takes on opponent during a home match against the University of Nevada Reno at the Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (Armando Carreno/The Collegian)

The Fresno State women’s soccer team has gone back to back with shutout victories as it hosted the second-to-last regular-season home game at the Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium against the University of Nevada Reno Wolfpack.

The Bulldogs returned home following their trip to Colorado State University and University of Wyoming where they split the road trip with a 1-0 loss to the Rams and a 2-0 shutout victory against the Cowgirls. The Wolfpack came into the game against the Bulldogs following a 2-1 overtime victory against Air Force Academy.

Opportunities were plentiful throughout the first half for both the Bulldogs and the Wolfpack. Each team had a total of four shots on goals in the first half as well as total saves. 

However, Fresno State was able to put a score on the board a few minutes before the end of the first half. Middle forward Lorena Montanes won the ball off of a free kick and managed to shoot it over Nevada’s goalie Kendal Stovall. This goal from Montanes was her second goal of the season.

At the half, Fresno State had established itself a lead with the score at 1-0 as it entered the second half of play on Thursday night. 

Head coach Brian Zwaschka stated that the Bulldogs had a “bit of a slow start” and Nevada had came out “pretty strong.” Zwaschka knew the team had opportunities throughout the first half but was fortunate to pick up the goal in the first.

The Bulldogs regrouped and came out more aggressive as well as tighter on defense in the second half. Fresno State took a total of 14 shots on goal in the second half alone while their defensive stifled Nevada to a total of only two shots. 

The downside to the aggressive play style showed up in the foul category. Fresno State ended the game with a total of 12 fouls. Yet, Zwaschka was happy that the team executed his gameplan.

“I was really happy with how the team responded because we showed a really dominant performance in the second half,” Zwaschka said. “That’s the way I wish we had started the game.”

Leading up to the final minute of the game versus the Wolfpack, all signs pointed to a 1-0 victory. However, forward Ele Avery would put the dagger in the game as she found the net to make the final score 2-0. Forward Racine Babb was credited with the assist. 

The Bulldogs will be celebrating senior night this Sunday at 12 p.m. against the visiting University of Nevada Las Vegas Rebels who come into Sunday’s game following a double-overtime tie against San Jose State University.

“We are really proud of our senior class and they are huge contributors on the field and off,” Zwaschka said. “This is a great-spirited group, and they have been driving this ship this whole time. We want to send them out the right way, so we hope the Red Wave continues to get behind us and come out and support them in a special way on Sunday.”

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