Wildcats respond with dominant win


Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics

Forward Susanna Garcia takes on the defense.

After a loss Saturday night, Chico State women’s soccer planned to regroup and get back to their winning ways. The Wildcats took on Holy Names from Oakland, California and controlled the game the entire night defeating their opponent 10-0. 

In the first five minutes of the game, the Wildcats got an early lead with a goal from Summer Baron. Four minutes later, Susanna Garcia added to the lead with her fourth goal of the season. In the 11th minute, Camille Lidster put another goal in the back of the net. 

However, they weren’t finished in the first half. In the 30th minute, sophomore Emily Billena came in and scored her first goal of the season. 

Going into the second half, the Wildcats were leading 4-0 and with a keeper change for Holy Names there was a sense the lead was going to grow. 

Eight different Wildcats scored the team’s 10 goals Monday, including Kelli Litchfield, Madi Wilson and Kaitlin Carlton, with Amber Nunes scoring two goals. 

Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics
Freshman midfielder Kelli Litchfield holding off her defender

Emily Billena notched two goals in her second career game for the Wildcats. Two goals this early into the season has prepared Billena for a long season. 

“Mentally I feel more confident now that I’ve experienced being in a collegiate game,” Billena said. “I’m just hoping I can stay consistent, so that I can continue to benefit the team.” 

Chico recorded 36 shots, 18 in each half with 20 being on frame. However, Holy Names found themselves nowhere near the goal with two shots in 90 minutes of play. 

With this victory, it’s not a stretch to presume the Wildcats played a near perfect game. 

Although, Billena mentioned there is no such thing as a perfect game. 

“There’s always room for improvement in all areas of the field,” Billena said. “Even the smallest details need work sometimes.” 

The small details were a factor in the loss prior to the match against Holy Names for the Wildcats. With every player getting minutes off the bench, this team proved each player on the roster can improve on the small things.

Junior forward Antonia Diaz acknowledged that depth off the bench is great for them and the bigger goals they have set for themselves. 

“The skill and the tempo never change, it’s nice to know no matter what, everyone will do their part,” Diaz said. 

Large margins of victory rarely happen more than once, but the Wildcats proved that anyone on the team can score and make something happen. 

“We just have to keep grinding and keep the fire alive,” Diaz said. “It helps that every person on the team wants to play and contribute any way they can.” 

Head coach Kim Sutton acknowledged that it’s important to make sure the team didn’t come into the game against Holy Names and expect a victory. Those become the games you manage to lose. 

“I was more concerned about them being ready for [Monday], a team that can be easily overlooked,” Sutton said. “That’s when you make it hard on yourselves.” 

The Wildcats took care of business, giving them confirmation early in the game that they would be getting their third victory of the season. 

Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics
Camille Lidster controlling the ball in the midfield

With a team firing on all cylinders, Sutton’s confident her team can compete at a high level. 

“This team is proving to be consistent and that’s what I thought they would do,” Sutton said. “I’m excited because I feel like they will show up every game.” 

The Wildcats have the opportunity to win some games as they take on Fresno Pacific at home on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.

Mason Tovani can be reach [email protected] or @masonmtovani on Twitter