SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After 65 minutes without a goal, Sacramento State scored three times in seven minutes – including twice in a 25-second stretch – to defeat the visiting Nevada Wolf Pack, 3-0.
For Sacramento State, the win was its first of the year as the team improved to 1-3-1. Nevada, meanwhile, falls to 1-3-0 overall.
Early in Sunday's match, it looked to be the Hornets in control, pressuring the Nevada backline and taking some quick shots on goal. Just as quickly as it started, however, it ended as the Wolf Pack attack took control for much of the first half.
Despite outshooting the Hornets, 1-3 in the first half, the Sacramento State defense and goalkeeper Katie Price held firm, taking a scoreless match into halftime. Price made six saves in the first half and would finish the match with nine, a career-high, while facing down 19 total shots.
The Hornets looked renewed after half, matching the Nevada attack with a push of their own. The Sacramento state pressure finally caused the Wolf Pack to break when Samantha Craig scored the eventual game-winning goal in the 65th minute after a perfect center ball from Jordan Goularte.
The goal was the second of the year for Craig, who scored Sacramento State's first goal last Sunday at Cal Poly. It was also her second game-winning goal, her first an overtime golden goal against Idaho in 2019.
Just seconds later, Sacramento State found the back of the net again, doubling its lead to 2-0 in the 66th minute. Julia Herrera delivered an excellent forward ball through the Wolf Pack defense and to a charging Abigail Lopez. Lopez, one-on-one with the oncoming Nevada keeper, let the shot fly from the top of the 18, sending it skipping into the back of the net.
The goal was the second of Lopez's young Hornets career. She scored hers and the team's first this year at home against CSU Bakersfield on Aug. 21.
As if two goals in 25 seconds wasn't enough, Sacramento State added a third off the foot of senior Ele Avery in the 72nd minute. Lopez started the play, charging into the Nevada half of the field and drawing the attention of the defenders, while Avery ran uncovered into the box. Lopez led with a cross and Avery beat the keeper to the ball, half sliding and half kicking the ball into the back of the net from eight yards out.
The goal is the first for Avery in a Hornets uniform. The senior spent four seasons at Fresno State, where she scored 10 goals.
Sacramento State continued to be incredibly effecient with its shots, placing eight of 10 shots on goal on Sunday. For the season, Sacramento State owns a .500 shot on goal percentage, placing 22 of its 44 total shots on target.
Sunday's match was also a physical one with a combined 24 fouls called against the two teams – 12 apiece. Sacramento State was shown one yellow card while Nevada received two. Both teams also received a red card as the Hornets' Jessica Mann and the Wolf Pack's Emily Rich were sent from the match early.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, Sunday's home match was just a brief stop in Sacramento as the team will head back out on the road for its next two matches. Up first is a challenging trip to face the Pac-12's California Bears on their home pitch. That match is set for a 4 p.m. kick off on Thursday, Sept. 9.
For the latest on all things Sacramento State women's soccer, be sure to visit the Hornets women's soccer page online at HornetSports.com for news, notes, and more.