MORAGA, Calif. – Sacramento State opened the regular season Thursday afternoon against the Saint Mary's Gaels in Moraga, ultimately falling to the host Gaels, 3-0.
Thursday's season opener was the Hornets' first regular season match since the team closed out the 2020 season with an overtime win at Portland State in April. Despite the short offseason, that win did not carry over as the Hornets fell to the Gaels.
Sacramento State struggled to gain ground against a strong Saint Mary's defense, taking just four shots in the match, two of them on goal. The Gaels, however, peppered Hornets goalkeeper Mia Shalit in her Sacramento State debut, piling up 20 total shots, placing 14 of them on goal.
Shalit, a sophomore transfer from UNLV, made 11 saves in her first match with the Hornets, a career-high.
Tiffany Miras provided most of the offense for Sacramento State, taking two shots and placing both on goal. Her first look didn't come until the 68th minute, a low shot that was saved by Saint Mary's keeper Taylor Poland, the reigning WCC Goalkeeper of the Year. Miras had another look in the 90th minute, this time opting for the top corner, but again was denied the score by Poland.
Aubrey Goodwill had the team's first shot in the 30th minute. Freshman Abigail Lopez has a good look in the 59th minute, sneaking in behind the Gaels defense, but was unable to put a clean shot on the ball as Poland again made the save.
Saint Mary's scored its first goal in the 19th minute, before adding two more in the second half in the 51st and 81st minutes.
In addition to Shalit, four other Hornets played all 90 minutes on Thursday. Goodwill and captain Shay Valenzano were joined by newcomers freshman Shaunee Egloria and sophomore Isabella Vinsonhaler in playing all 90.
Sacramento State will have a chance to rebound from Thursday's loss on Saturday when the Hornets make their 2021 home debut against the visiting CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners.