Chico State Women’s Soccer advance in CCAA rankings after weekend down south


Raymundo Sayago

Senior forward Mackenzie Gill carries the ball down field past defenders on Oct. 7

The Chico State Women’s soccer team clashed against their Southern California-based competition and finished another grueling weekend on the road. They split the weekend with a loss to Cal State San Marcos and a win against Cal State San Bernardino

Chico State currently holds a conference record of (4-2-2) and an overall record of (7-3-4). 

As a result of their hard-fought weekend down south, the Wildcats are currently in third place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings

Chico State has three games left in conference play and soon it will be time for the playoffs. Each game’s importance continues to grow and the Wildcats are optimistic that they’ll be able to get their job done. 

“It’s definitely emotional coming down to the last few games, but I know that our team is ready to perform,” sophomore defender Taylor Russell said. “We’re going to bring the intensity and we’re ready to go for the title. So we’re excited to see how far we can go this season.” 

The Wildcats matched up against the Cougars on Oct. 14 on their home turf, “The Cage,” which is their multipurpose field that is known for the surroundings consisting of black fences wrapping around the field. 

The Wildcats and Cougars engaged in a defensive battle throughout the match. 

In their skirmish against San Marcos, which ended 0-1, the Cougars provided a variety of challenges for the Wildcats. 

“Their team is pretty tall. They won a majority of balls in the air, especially in the first half. We had trouble with winning the first ball,” sophomore forward Mikayla Robertson said. 

It was slow for both offenses, but Chico struggled particularly with getting shots off against San Marcos. 

“They did play a lot of long ball which isn’t usually our style and can be hard to defend at times but I think the biggest thing was the physicality,” sophomore midfielder Kylie Rolling said.

The Wildcats shot four times and only one shot was on goal which came from sophomore forward Summer Baron.

The Cougars also struggled with their shots, shooting nine times but with only three being on goal. 

Diana Mendoza, freshman and midfielder for San Marcos, was substituted into the game and it only took her eight minutes of play to make a difference against the Wildcats. 

After a pass made by a Chico defender was intercepted by San Marcos sophomore defender Emma Hord, Hord then made a pass to Mendoza who was already bursting into the middle of the penalty box. 

Mendoza then blasted the ball into the right side of the goal area where sophomore goalkeeper Emma Hofmann dove and tried to knock it out with her right hand. The ball bounced off Hofmann’s hand and landed in the upper right corner of the goal. 

This would be the lone goal of the game against San Marcos. The Wildcats were unable to find a solution that allowed them to get back into the game.

“We came out strong and we had a really good warm-up in the San Marcos game. Mistakes happen, it just didn’t flow our way,” Russell said. “But I think we’re ready and we want it more than anyone else right now.” 

Chico State stayed true to its motto of “one game at a time,” and it was displayed to full effect against the San Bernardino Coyotes. 

The Wildcats were able to galvanize the squad together and turn their loss into a lesson to get the win against the Coyotes, 1-0, on Oct. 16. 

Against San Bernandino, senior defender Nicole Fairbanks made a game-altering assist to senior forward Mackenzie Gill in the first half, which ultimately won them the game. 

As Fairbanks was dribbling down the field with defenders chasing after her, she launched the ball across the field from a long distance which landed at the feet of Gill. 

Gill was at the corner of the goal box going up against San Bernardino goalkeeper, Carly Luna for the ball. As Luna dove to secure the ball, she was unsuccessful and left the ball at reach for Gill to finish the play and put the ball into the net to put Chico State up 1-0. 

In terms of scoring for the Coyotes, they were shut out by Chico State and were left with a loss at home. 

The Wildcats are set to play against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Oct. 21 at 7:00 p.m. and Cal State Monterey Bay on Oct. 23 at 2:00 p.m. 

Both games will be at University Stadium and their game against Monterey Bay will be Senior night where they will celebrate the six Wildcat seniors on the team.

Raymundo Sayago can be reached on Twitter @rsayagoaguilar or [email protected]