Women’s soccer falls late to Sonoma

Sonoma+player%2C+Sam+Layman%2C+goes+down+and+tries+to+take+Chico+player%2C+Alexi+Vontsolos%2C+with+her+as+well.+Photo+credit%3A+Mary+Vogel
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Women’s soccer falls late to Sonoma

Sonoma player, Sam Layman, goes down and tries to take Chico player, Alexi Vontsolos, with her as well. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Sonoma player, Sam Layman, goes down and tries to take Chico player, Alexi Vontsolos, with her as well. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Sonoma player, Sam Layman, goes down and tries to take Chico player, Alexi Vontsolos, with her as well. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Sonoma player, Sam Layman, goes down and tries to take Chico player, Alexi Vontsolos, with her as well. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Matthew Ferreira

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The Chico State women’s soccer team lost its final regular season home game Sunday to Sonoma State by a score of 3-1.

The Wildcats went into the match-up looking to “right the ship” after coming off three straight losses, including two shutouts to San Marcos and UC San Diego.

Chico vs. Sonoma

There was a heated match against the two rival schools leaving many players to fight hard for the win. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Early in the first half, Sonoma State came out firing. In the first 20 minutes of the game the Seawolves out-shot Chico State five to one.

Despite the early and often scoring opportunities for the visitors, including one shot that rebounded off the crossbar, the Chico State defense locked down and kept the game momentarily tied at zero.

Fighting for the Ball

Chico State player, Camille Lidster and Sonoma State player, Madison Watts were fighting neck and neck for the ball. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

This all changed in the 26 minutes into the game. During a Sonoma offensive push, Chico State goalkeeper Victoria Graham made a play on an incoming opponent that resulted in both a yellow card and a penalty shot.

Sonoma’s Sarah Lindborg put the shot past Graham and gave them the ever important first goal and lead of the game.

Sonoma's Head Shot

Sonoma player, Sam Layman, jumped in time for the head shot but that was not gonna stop Chico player, Emelie Peraza from going for the ball. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

The lead lasted about 15 seconds. After play resumed from the first goal, Chico’s Camille Lidster took the ball right downfield, dribbling through the defense, and scored an unassisted goal to draw even and take the momentum back from Sonoma State.

“The first five minutes after a team scores is crucial and we just wanted to go for it so I decided to take it and went down the field,” said Lidster.

Wildcat's Kickoff

Liz Geraghty kicks the ball back into the game. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

After the quick set of goals, both team’s offense came to a stall as neither team got another shot up before halftime.

After the break, Sonoma came out shooting again. The Seawolves applied early offensive pressure, taking four shots in the first six minutes, and keeping the Wildcats in the defensive zone.

Although the quick burst of offense didn’t turn up any goals for Sonoma and the game stayed tied, it set an early tone while their defense kept the Wildcats frustrated. Chico didn’t even get a shot off until there were 21 minutes left in the game.

Sonoma's Head Shot

Sonoma player, Sam Layman, jumped in time for the head shot but that was not gonna stop Chico player, Emelie Peraza from going for the ball. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

“They’re a veteran team and they’re a little bit bigger than us in the midfield which makes it hard for us to win balls in the air, which made it difficult to keep our heads about us… we’re a young team,” said Chico State head coach Kim Sutton.

The teams remained even and the shots were scarce until 80 minutes in the game, when Sonoma’s Krissy Keller scored off a corner kick sent in by teammate Madison Watts.

Any hopes of a Chico comeback were put to rest when Sonoma’s Raina Wristen scored from eighteen yards out off an assist from teammate Alyssa Silva to give them a two goal lead with just over five minutes left in the game.

Going for the Ball

Sonoma State player, Alexis Espitia, was trying to keep the ball but Chico State player, Liz Geraghty, was on her the whole time. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

The lead proved to be insurmountable for the Wildcats, and Sonoma State took the win 3-1.

“There was a bit off defensive miscommunication through the back today, like not tracking runners and there were just simple things that we got lackadaisical on,” said Graham.

The Wildcats will look to break their losing streak Thursday when they take the field against Cal State East Bay in Chico at 7 p.m.

Matt Ferreira can be reached at [email protected] or @MattFerreira__ on Twitter.

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