Chico State Women’s Soccer win in overtime thriller during CCAA Championships


Raymundo Sayago

Senior forward Susanna Garcia motivating her team after halftime on Oct. 21 at University Stadium.

Chico State Women’s Soccer avenged their last conference game, a loss to Cal Poly Humboldt, this past Sunday when they came out with a 2-1 win against the Lumberjacks.

Chico State went up against Humboldt on the road for their last game of conference play on Oct. 27. However, the result wasn’t what they were hoping for. 

In a tough defensive match up, the Lumberjacks came out victorious after a tenacious brawl on their home field in Humboldt. 

Though, things weren’t too bad as the #4 Wildcats were able to see the #5 Lumberjacks in the first round of the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships only a couple days later. 

“We weren’t worried at all after we lost because we knew that right away we had them at home again. So we were like ‘rematch? That’s alright, that was a fluke,’” senior forward Susanna Garcia said. “We just knew we had to bring it and play like it was our last game. I think we did and we played the game of our life.” 

Prior to the game, Chico State was entering the championships with an overall record of (8-4-5), while Humboldt had a record of (7-4-6). 

Chico entered knowing they had to make adjustments after their loss, while also having to make additional adjustments with their center forward Piper Matson being out. 

Not only did they get a chance for a fresh start by entering the playoffs, they were granted the opportunity to play in front of the Wildcat fans at University Stadium one last time. 

Kickoff started at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 30 and although it was a slow first half, it showed early signs of what was to come.

It was in the second half in which a spark went off within the Wildcat squad. 

59-minutes into action, sophomore goalkeeper Emma Hofmann shot a goal kick that landed past the halfway line.

Sophomore forward Natalie Mendoza battled against two Lumberjack midfielder’s for the ball. Once she gained possession, she dribbled down the field and made a pristine pass to senior forward Mackenzie Gill who was running down the right side of the field. 

Gill paused for a minute and saw her opportunity. She went in for the strike and passed it across the field which landed in the right corner of the goal box. 

Freshman Hannah Pieri went on to leap and header the ball into the net, causing University stadium to erupt with cheers for “Playoff Pieri” and allowing the Wildcats to get full grip of the momentum. 

“It was an incredible feeling, being a freshman and my teammates on the field, they have so much trust in me,” Pieri said. “So to have them trust me to be in that position is incredible.” 

Going up against a formidable opponent like the Lumberjacks, the rest of the game wasn’t going to be a breeze. 

Humboldt was able to regroup and halt Chico’s momentum. They scored a goal of their own, 67-minutes into the game. 

Junior midfielder Grace Johnson crossed the ball past the Chico defense where it fell to the feet of freshman Jysabella Tolentino.

Tolentino had a clear look and made the most of it by finishing it off, knocking the ball into the right side of the goal box and tying the game 1-1. 

After this, Chico remained unfazed. With everything coming down to this game, the team decided to leave it all on the table. 

With both teams clawing for a chance to advance in playoff standings and keep their season alive, they would need to play more than just 90 minutes. 

The game went into overtime, in which they played two more 10-minute halves. This is where the Wildcats displayed their talents and showed the fans what Chico soccer was all about. 

Four minutes into the first half of overtime, sophomore midfielder Brynna Howard attacked the ball while it was high in the air, received control of it and struck it through the goal box. 

Howard’s shot came from outside the penalty box and landed in the upper right side of the goal box, putting it in a position that was extremely difficult for Humboldt’s goalkeeper, Marisol Camargo, to defend. 

This shot solidified the win against the Lumberjacks and cemented the Wildcats playoff push in the CCAA Championships. 

“It was so awesome, I was just so happy for everybody and I couldn’t have done it without anybody,”  Howard said. “Our defense played outstanding today and Emma had some really great saves. Humboldt’s a super good team, so it was awesome having all 11 of us playing super hard.” 

Chico State is set to play Sonoma State on Nov. 4 at 11:30 a.m. 

Sonoma is currently ranked as the number one seed in the CCAA Championship. 

The last time these two teams met up, Chico came out on top with a final score of 3-1. 

The Wildcats are hoping to replicate the success they had against the Seawolves earlier this season this Friday to advance into the CCAA Finals.  

Tune in to the CCAA network to stream the game and to support your Wildcats. 

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