Gators fall to strong Seawolves defense

The SF State women’s soccer team saw their seven game unbeaten streak come to an end losing by a score of 1-0 against Sonoma State University on Friday.

The loss also ended their unbeaten record playing at Cox Stadium.

The opponent was no slouch, however, as Sonoma State was the number one ranked team in the Gators Conference. The Seawolves were able to extend a win streak of their own to four games.

 Kayleen Belda (19), a forward for the SF State Gators women's soccer team, dribbles the ball down the field during a game against the Sonoma Seawolves at Cox Stadium Friday, Sept. 2. SF State lost 1-0. (Alex Kofman / Xpress)

Kayleen Belda (19), a forward for the SF State Gators women’s soccer team, dribbles the ball down the field during a game against the Sonoma Seawolves at Cox Stadium Friday, Sept. 2. SF State lost 1-0. (Alex Kofman / Xpress)

“With them being number one in our region, we wanted to give them a fight the entire game so we came out with a fire,” said midfielder Vanessa Penuna.

That fire in the Gators led to a frenetic first half. Both teams had a noticeable energy in the early parts of the game giving it the feel as if it were a playoff game.

After surviving an early barrage of shots, movements forward and crisp passes from Sonoma State, the Gators went into the half with a scoreless tie.

There were plenty of early chances for the Gators as well, but both defenses were really strong today and stood out over the high powered offenses, according to head coach Tracy Hamm.

“I think both teams had great chances, it was kinda one of those games that could have gone either way,” Hamm said. “I wish we could have gotten one back but it didn’t work out that way.”

The defense which has been strong all season kept the Gators in the game in the second half as the Seawolves put on more pressure.

Karin Nordin made a leaping-fingertip save on a free kick from about 25 yards out, barely pushing the ball over the goalpost, saving what would be a sure goal.

Then a few minutes later from almost the same spot a another free kick was awarded. This time the foul led to the game winning goal as the Seawolves’ Kristal Luna was able to put the set piece into the top right corner for a stunning goal early in the 53rd minute

Hanna Ghamari (14), a midfielder for the SF State Gators women's soccer team heads the ball away from Kristal Luna (10) of the Sonoma State Seawolves during a game at Cox Stadium  Friday, Sept. 2. SF State lost 1-0. (Alex Kofman / Xpress)

Hanna Ghamari (14), a midfielder for the SF State Gators women’s soccer team heads the ball away from Kristal Luna (10) of the Sonoma State Seawolves during a game at Cox Stadium Friday, Sept. 2. SF State lost 1-0. (Alex Kofman / Xpress)

“We were fighting and after that goal it felt like we dropped down a little bit and we can’t do that,” said Penuna. “We need to keep our heads high and fight through that. It’s something we need to work on.”

Both teams looked to make a statement today that they plan to still be playing at the end of the season.

“It was a great battle. The only chances they got on us today were the ones they got on the free kicks,” said Gator forward Bianca Lowe . “We heard them say we were the hardest team that they’ve had to play so far.”

The Gators would try to mount a late comeback only to see their shots sail wide of the net.

The loss drops the Gators record to 6-3-1 overall and 2-1-1 in conference.

The Gators hope to get back on track and start another win streak this Sunday at Cox Stadium against Humboldt State University.

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