Wildcats come out victorious over top seeded Sonoma State Seawolves


Mason Tovani

Wildcats huddling up in a match earlier this season.

The Wildcats defeated the Sonoma State Seawolves on Monday with a 1-0 victory, ending their two-game tying streak and senior weekend with three points. 

After the weather on Sunday postponed the game at Pleasant Valley High School, the Wildcats had another day to prepare for their match against the No. 1 team in their conference. 

Unfortunately, it was a catch-22 for the Wildcats. A game on Monday meant captain Sarah Emigh would not be able to play due to her commitment to the nursing program. This was a loss the Wildcats would need to make up for.

In the 79th minute, Susanna Garcia netted a shot putting the Wildcats up 1-0. Garcia was a force in front of the goal in the first five games of the season. Since then, she has cooled off, but her game winning goal on Monday morning could shape up to be the most important one of the season.

“We all knew it was a crucial game and needed everyone to step up and give their best effort,” Garcia said. 

While she has had some games where the chances were scarce, Garcia said she has stayed focused and continued working. 

Going on a cold streak can oftentimes cause athletes to get in their own head and their play won’t be at the level it was before, which Garcia admitted to dealing with. She said she gave too much thought to scoring for her team. 

“Scoring was a huge lift and relief for me,” Garcia said, “perseverance and hard work always pay off.” 

With senior midfielder Sarah Emigh missing Monday’s match, the midfield needed to fill that void. Sophomore Camille Lidster did just that, controlling the midfield and connecting with Garcia for the goal. 

“It was very important for the midfield to step up with Sarah being gone because she is an amazing leader and player,” Lidster said. “We wanted to win this game for her because she does so much for the team on and off the field.”

Another player who has shown up for her team all season is freshman defender Klayre Barres. Barres earned herself a Player of the Game award last weekend and has gained the trust of her coaches and teammates. 

Barres said that before coming to Chico State she had never played center back, and initially it was nerve wracking, but ultimately rewarding to make an impact in any way she could. 

“I’m grateful to have teammates and coaches who believe in me,” Barres said. “I’m enjoying every second with this team and can’t wait to see what’s to come in the next four years.”

The Wildcats are coming down to their final games of the season and are making a push for a first seed in the standings to earn home field advantage in the playoffs. 

Mason Tovani can be reached at [email protected] or @masonmtovani on Twitter.