SF State women's soccer chomps Cal State San Bernardino in 2-1 win

Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes

SF State Gators' Elizet Ceja (5), center, trips as Cal State San Bernardino's Miranda Corneliussen (6), left, tries to gain control over the ball during the soccer game at Cox Stadium in San Francisco Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. The Gators won 2-1. Photo by Virginia Tieman / Xpress

The women’s soccer team grabbed a win in a rematch game against the Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes. The Gators left the game in a 2-1 victory over the Coyotes, bringing their record to 3-3 overall.

The Gators started the game off strong with three shots on goal within the first 10 minutes. Their first goal came five minutes later after junior forward Michelle Kay crossed the ball to the center to senior Nicole Vanni in a play they’ve been practicing.

“We’ve been working on mids trying to connect with our forwards and make runs off and everyone going up the middle, and I think that finally worked,” said Vanni, who scored her second goal for the season.

They lost their last match against the Coyotes 4-1 on Sept. 9. Since then, SF State’s head women’s soccer coach Jack Hyde said they’ve been working on teamwork to prepare for this game.

“We’ve been a little bit fragmented at the beginning of the season and now we’ve emphasized everybody getting on the same page so that we’re all together as a group,” Hyde said.

Hyde said it was important for the Gators to maintain their lead as they kept pressure on the Coyotes. That pressure led them to score another goal by junior Mari Mendizabal, her first for the season.

“We weren’t going to sit back and defend that 1-0 lead,” Hyde said. “We needed to go and win the second half, which we did, so that was good.”

However, in a ball-bouncing frenzy, the Coyotes managed to score a goal by freshman forward Leilani Konrad in a breakaway play with one and a half minutes left in the game.

Vanni said their defense “got caught a little bit flat” during that play.

“That’s something that we’ve been working on a lot, so it has gotten better, but obviously there’s still room for improvement,” Vanni said.

Overall, Hyde said he is pleased with the team’s performance.

“I think they did very well, very well; they stepped up good,” Hyde said. “We had a great game against Humboldt last week and we’ve had a very good game here today, so that’s two in a row.”

The Gators are back at home on Sept. 23 against undefeated UC San Diego at 2 p.m.