After finishing the regular season with a loss against San Jose State last weekend, the Fresno State women’s soccer team was set to face the No. 3 seeded Colorado State Rams in the Mountain West Conference Championship Tuesday afternoon at the Boas Soccer Complex in Boise, Idaho.
The Bulldogs grabbed the last spot available for the championship, finishing the season with a 5-4-2 conference record. Fresno State entered the championship as the No. 6 seed, facing the same Colorado State team that had defeated the ‘Dogs 1-0 earlier in the season.
After 90 minutes of playing time, it was all tied up for both sides with the Bulldogs holding a slight advantage on scoring opportunities. Both teams went on to play 20 minutes of extra time where both teams had several opportunities to score, but there was no change in the score for either team.
For the penalty kicks, the Bulldogs chose goalkeeper Milena Zink, who managed to stop three of the four penalty kicks she faced. On the other hand, the Bulldogs were nearly perfect from the penalty spot, with Ele Avery, Kasidee Wiley and Jordan Brown scoring for the ‘Dogs.
With the victory, the Bulldogs will now go on to the semifinals where they will face the No. 2 seed, the San Diego State Aztecs.
Last time the Aztecs and the Bulldogs played each other, it was down south with San Diego State taking the win, 2-1. However, this game will be at a neutral site with the Bulldogs carrying the momentum of their recent win.
In a news release from Fresno State Athletics, head coach Brian Zwaschka said he wants to give Colorado State credit because they had a great season. He also mentioned how prepared the team was for the penalty kicks.
“We have a great goalkeeping unit, and they take the time to prepare for these types of situations,” Zwaschka said in the release. “[The team] stayed calm and composed toward the end of the match when they were in a stressful situation. I’m really proud of them.”
The Fresno State women’s basketball season started last Friday night with an exhibition game at the Save Mart Center against in-town rivals, the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds.
The Bulldogs defeated the Sunbirds 96-67 in a game that helped prepare both teams for the upcoming season. The exhibition game was the second one for the Sunbirds, who had already faced the San Jose State Spartans earlier in the week.
Fresno State’s starting five consisted of junior guard Aly Gamez, junior forward Maddi Utti, junior forward Genna Ogier and freshmen guards Haley and Hanna Cavinder.
The Bulldogs took control of the game and began scoring at will against the Sunbirds.
With an early lead, the Bulldogs brought in some bench players, and Fresno Pacific began to take advantage of scoring opportunities. The Bulldogs had a hard time defending the Sunbirds’ ability to shoot from the 3-point line.
Fresno Pacific gained momentum back from the Bulldogs in the first half and made it a very close game through the first two quarters.
After halftime, the Bulldogs came out of the locker room ready to play and quickly created a large lead. The Sunbirds tried to continue with the momentum they had before the half, but the ‘Dogs’ defense was just too much and kept the Sunbirds from doing much in the second half.
The Bulldogs eventually won the game, 96-67, gaining momentum for their first preseason game against Cal Poly Wednesday night.
After the game, head coach Jaime White praised Fresno Pacific for pushing them during the game and also commented on what happened after halftime.
“Fresno Pacific did a great job, they hit the lights out of the three. We couldn’t guard them in that second quarter,” White said. “Our girls just needed to just settle down, reverse the ball, move the ball and make them play more defense than we were.”