Women’s soccer in playoff contention despite loss

SF State's Brittany Oldham(8) and Cal State Stanislaus' Apryl Whitney(8) compete for a header during the game at Cox field at SF State, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. The game ended in a scoreless tie, 0-0. Photo by Amanda Peterson / Xpress

SF State’s Brittany Oldham(8) and Cal State Stanislaus’ Apryl Whitney(8) compete for a header during the game at Cox field at SF State, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. The game ended in a scoreless tie, 0-0. Photo by Amanda Peterson / Xpress

A gloomy afternoon at Cox Stadium would foreshadow a grim outcome for SF State against an undefeated Cal State Stanislaus team. The visiting Warriors defeated the Gators 1-0 in overtime Sunday, which halted SF State’s streak of four straight games without a loss.

“It’s all about results,” said head coach Jack Hyde. “You feel good when you win and you don’t when you lose and no matter how good we played today we still lost the game. I can see it in their faces, we are all disappointed and emotional, but they played very well.”

Less than two minutes into overtime, Cal State Stanislaus forward Katelyn Nebesnick scored the games only goal off a pass from Division II leading scorer, Karanee Demery.

“It’s unfortunate when a goal goes like that,” Hyde said.  “It wasn’t a brilliant goal, but I think we played very well today, I’m very proud of our team.”

The Warriors came into the game ranked No. 10 in the country and without a loss on the year, sporting an 11-0-2 overall record.

They attacked early and often, and outshot the Gators 19-4.  SF State goalkeeper Allison Land did all she could: She ended the game with 10 saves, but was unable to stop every shot.

The Gators managed to keep up with the undefeated Warriors, nearly winning in regulation even with their minimal attempts.

“Honestly that was the best game we have ever played,” defender Graceann Rettig said. “They are a great team and if we play that way over the next five games we are going to be really successful.”

Although the Gators came up empty against Cal State Stanislaus, their recent winning streak has them in the thick of the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference playoff chase.

“This team can go so far,” forward Lauren Floro said.  “It’s just mentality for us and all of us are all really wanting it for each other, and I think that’s more important than anything else.”

After Lauren Hayano scored the game winner against Chico State on Oct. 6, Land predicted that the goal was going to turn around SF State’s season.  Two weeks and three wins later Land’s prediction has turned into reality.

The suddenly red-hot Gators have moved within four points of the last CCAA playoff spot after being in last place as recently as Oct. 5.

“Definitely it’s leadership on the field,” Hyde said.  “It’s the leadership from (Nicole) Smith, (Stephanie) Vanni and Eli (Ceja), that starts it and Land has been a big part of this. They are all accomplishing their role from coaches all the way down to the players.”

SF State will have five days to recuperate after nearly knocking off the conference leaders before traveling to UC San Diego on Oct. 25.

“The past few weeks have been really good for us after sort of a rocky start,” Floro said.  “I think we are really pushing and we really want to make playoffs and go to conference this year. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think we could have performed better against a better team.”