Wildcats tie in second extra time match of the season


Wildcat starters huddle before the start of the second half against Colorado School of Mines on Sunday afternoon Photo credit: Wesley Harris

The Chico State women’s soccer team went head to head against Colorado School of Mines, ranked 13th nationally, on a scorching Sunday that ended in a physical, 0-0 draw.

The result was the second game in a row that the Wildcats would finish in extra time without finding a way to get the ball in the net. The intensity and effort that was seen in Chico’s previous match was met with an equal level of desire from the CSM Orediggers.

Colorado School of Mines women’s soccer came into the match after defeating San Francisco State in a 3-0 victory. The 13th ranked team in the country dominated the shot count which would reach up to 23 compared to only nine attempted shots from Chico State.

The back line for the Wildcats had an answer for every Colorado run. Defender Antonia Diaz made a tremendous kick out from the goal for a save in the opening minutes of the match. The ball escaped the reach of Chico’s goalkeeper, and moments before attempting to cross the goal line, Diaz darted through the field to make the play.

Freshman goaltender Vic Graham made her first appearance as a college athlete and guided her team’s defense with seven saves to prevent an Oredigger win. One of these saves was made in the final seconds of regulation where she stretched her arm back behind her head in a full extension to bring Colorado’s anticipation of celebration to a halt.

Chico State going through pre-game announcements on Sunday afternoon. Photo credit: Wesley Harris

When asked about the team’s performance Graham said, “I think we’ve been playing really well. our possession and our technique have been getting there really well. We’ve been playing well as a team, and those goals will start to come as the season goes on. I am really happy with the way we’ve been playing.”

The Wildcats’ offense was not as sharp as their last match. The defensive intensity and smart decision making seen from Chico’s defense had many of the same results for the opposing team. Chico had a series of great runs made by their forwards that nearly ended in a goal.

Senior Erin Woods once again lead the team in shot attempts alongside Brielynn Tovani with a pair each. Woods demanded attention no matter where she was at on the field, continuously around the ball.

“We just need to be smarter with some of our choices in the final third (of the field) and be a little more patient.” Coach Sutton said about getting the team’s first goal, “Getting on the end of crosses is something we have to work on. The connection and rhythm with each other isn’t there yet.”

In extra time, much of the same events were repeated with a defensive edge from both teams making it as difficult as possible for either team to score.

“We came out kind of flat and that’s what happens when you play an overtime game Friday.” Sutton said. “We’re fatigued and I think we battled really hard to get back in it. Being fit helps and we consider ourselves a gritty fit team and that showed today. So is that team, that’s why it was such a battle.”

Chico will play their next match against Seattle Pacific on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. It will be their last match at home of non-conference play.

Wesley Harris can be reached at [email protected] or @Flacko_Flame on Twitter.