The women of Sonoma State University’s soccer team have demonstrated nothing but triumph to kick off their season. A 4-0 record shows not only relentless effort, but a promising and exciting future for the Seawolves.
Sonoma State, nationally ranked at No. 18, had a tough lineup to face but were able to pull out two wins against Dixie State and Azusa Pacific over the weekend.
With Sonoma State’s first match against Dixie State at home on Thursday, the pressure was on to continue the win streak against another strong undefeated team. The tension was high between the two teams as they both were eager to take home the win and continue their streak.
Sonoma State fired away 13 shots in the first half, giving Dixie State a run for its money. The Dixie State Trailblazers came up short as they only shot twice on goal, but were able to hold the Seawolves scoreless through the first half. The Seawolves’ Sam Layman, sophomore forward, scored her first goal of the season late in the second half to put Sonoma State on the board. With 1:07 left in regulation, the goal by Layman sealed the victory against Dixie State, leaving them with their first loss of the season.
“We didn’t pay attention to their record much, but instead focused on our strategy of how we are going to continue grow as a team and learn from this game. Each game we will use as a lesson on what we need to improve on and what we are executing well,” Assistant Coach Margi Osmundson said.
The Seawolves had a quick turn around after their match against the Trailblazers and played the Azusa Pacific Cougars on Saturday on the Seawolves’ territory. This was a huge game of revenge for the Seawolves, as the Cougars had knocked them out in 2015 and 2016 in the first round of the NCAA playoffs. Although Azusa came into the game with a 0-2 record, it was a nail-biter that ended in overtime. Luckily for the Seawolves, they were able to defeat the Cougars and improve their record to 4-0.
Allison Pepper, Azusa’s senior forward, scored the first goal in the 40th minute, which left the Seawolves at a one-goal deficit at halftime. Alexis Espitia, freshman forward, responded 10 minutes into the second half to tie the game 1-1. Sonoma State outshot the Cougars 23-12, which was a huge factor in the second half,especially as the game went into overtime. It wasn’t until the 99th minute when Bella Amyx, the Seawolves’ junior forward, floated the game-winning goal over the Cougars‘ goalkeeper’s head. Sonoma State stormed the field to celebrate an emotional victory (2-1) against Azusa Pacific.
“Going into overtime, I had a real sense of urgency because the time goes by very fast and I knew that every opportunity was crucial,” Amyx said. “I treated every opportunity as if it would be our last and when we finally put one away it felt incredible. For a lot of the returning players, that game was personal. They had knocked us out of the playoffs two years in a row and it was time for our revenge.”
The Seawolves, now with an overall record of 4-0, will take on two road games against Cal State Monterey Bay on Friday and Cal State East Bay on Sunday in hopes of continuing their perfect record.