Tigers And Hornets Draw In Exhibition Action
Playing for the first time at their new home, Knoles Soccer Field, the Pacific women's soccer team picked up a draw against the visiting Hornets of Sacramento State in exhibition action on Friday, August 10. The game was the first ever played on Knoles Soccer Field as Pacific moved out of Stagg Memorial Stadium for the first time since 1993.
Playing in sweltering heat that saw the thermometer well into triple digits, the Tigers and the Hornets did not let the weather keep them from putting to good use their two weeks of training leading up to the game as both teams came out sharp and ready to play. With both teams tracking back and forth on the fresh grass of Knoles Field, the Hornets were able to strike first in the contest as Shelby Salvacion took advantage of a scramble in the Tigers' 18 to put her team ahead in the 10th minute of play. Fighting for a bouncing ball near the top of the box, Salvacion was able to settle the ball on her foot before lifting a shot to the far post that stuck the inside of the right net for the opening tally.
Down one, the Tigers pressed on throughout the opening half, probing the Hornet defense as they looked for the equalizer. Despite being kept off the board in the opening 45 minutes, Pacific was not to be denied as the Tigers evened the contest at 1-1 just eight minutes into the second half of action. Playing the ball down the right side of the pitch, freshman Cheyenne Somers was able to track down a through ball deep in Hornet territory to set up the score. With her new teammate Mirella Mattos racing up the field in support, Somers played the ball back to the Brazillian import just outside of the Hornet 18 where Mattos took a touch and then cracked a bullet into the upper 90 on the far left post for the Pacific goal.
The even score would hold throughout the rest of the contest as both teams hunkered down defensively to keep their opponent off the scoreboard. Tashia Long, the Tigers' starting keeper in the contest, was particularly impressive in the second half as the junior made too huge saves late in the second half to keep the Hornets out of the goal.
In all, the Tigers outshot the Hornets, 8-6, on the night with the Hornets narrowly edging out the Tigers in shots on frame at 6-4. In goal, Long picked up five saves while Sacramento State's Kimberly Mata posted three.The Tigers will begin the real 2012 season on Friday, August 17 when Pacific welcomes to Knoles Soccer Field the Golden Bears of Cal for the season opener. The game time is scheduled for 5:30 pm due to construction issues at the Tigers' new home field.