The Sonoma State University women’s soccer team started the 2017 season on the road in Arcata, California for the Lumberjack Classic. The team began the season ranked 22nd, and has high expectations for this upcoming year after finishing in second place during the 2016 regular season.
“We need to have more consistent focus both in trainings and in between competitions. In the past, we swung too far between greatness and mediocrity,” head coach Emiria Salzmann Dunn said. “Continuing to grow in our intelligence on the field, to be smarter with how we play and not just use our fitness level to solve problems.”
Sonoma State played its first game against the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds. The match got off to a slow start for both teams on the scoring end, remaining without a point through the first half, totaling 15 shots on goal. Sara Van Wagoner, senior forward, scored the Seawolves’ first goal of the season with a booming shot from far center field 57 minutes into the game. Shorty after, Fresno Pacific responded with a goal by Whitney Snow, junior midfielder, which forward Jessica Dondlinger assisted to tie up the game.
Bella Amyx, junior forward, scored the winning goal, finishing from the left side of the box assisted by Van Wagoner. Kristen Spear, junior goalkeeper for Sonoma State, played a strong defensive game while protecting the net. Overall, there was a total of 29 shots by both teams, nine of which Spear saved. Sonoma State finished its first game of the season with a 2-1 victory over Fresno Pacific.
The Seawolves faced Colorado Mesa on Saturday. Van Wagoner once again broke a scoreless first half, and Alexis Espitia, freshman forward, assisted as she scored 55 minutes into the game. During the 68th minute, senior defender Cecilia Sifuentes sealed the deal with a goal, putting the Seawolves 2-0 to start the 2017 season.
Sonoma State will look to continue its success and remain undefeated as it hosts two home games this coming week against Dixie State on Thursday, and Azusa Pacific on Saturday.
“Whether it’s training or a game we are focused and determined to better ourselves each day,” said Van Wagoner. “With that mindset, we can only improve. We have to stay humble and play the game we love to the best of our ability.”