The Gators broke through with a 2-1 win after a physically intense gantlet of a match against the Cal State East Bay Pioneers.
Athletes on both teams collided, pushed and fell throughout the game, resulting in a number of foul calls for each team. By the end of the game, SF State had 11 foul calls against them, while Cal State East Bay had 10.
“You just kinda have to keep playing (because) the refs aren’t gonna call everything,” said sophomore midfielder Ellie Ceja, who scored the Gators’ second goal off a corner kick play from senior Nicole Vanni.
SF State scored their first goal off a foul call on Cal State East Bay. The free kick, set at about 20 yards away, was shot by sophomore Stephanie Vanni, who made it just inside the far left post.
Although the Gators scored both goals during the first half, holding the game lead by one point, head coach Jack Hyde wanted his team to step up and try to get another goal in the second half to extend their lead.
“We just asked them to pick up a few more things on the field,” Hyde said. “It was to play a little bit quicker and to win more balls in the midfield.”
Hyde said winning those balls in the midfield was the key to their victory.
“I thought they played well,” Hyde said. “They came back well and we got two very nice goals and I think we showed it off at the end.”
The Pioneers scored their first goal when sophomore Ariana Gordon shot past the Gators’ goalkeeper Annicia Jones from about 5 yards away in a ball bouncing fury that made Jones step just short of the save.
In the end, the Gators took the game, improving their overall record to 4-4.
“I’m just glad we won,” Ceja said. “It was our win to have so I’m glad we got it.”
The Gators are back on the road in their next game Sept. 30 against the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos, who are ranked just below the Gators in the South Division of the CCAA standings.