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Gators close to clinching playoff spot after victory

October 20, 2018

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Gators close to clinching playoff spot after victory

Women’s soccer edged out a 1-0 victory against Gators in a game with major playoff implications.

With the win, SF State inches closer to securing a playoff spot and are still in the running to host a first round playoff game. SF State is currently in fourth place and has one more conference game to play.

Sophomore forward Tami Kwong scored the winning goal in the 72nd minute after dribbling through the Warriors defense and shooting across her body to find the back of the net for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.

Kwong has been battling a quad strain and played 60 minutes against Stanislaus State. This was the most Kwong has played in a game since sustaining the injury in early October.

“This week I took it easy at practice, but it felt really good to be out there and going 100 percent again,” Kwong said.

Head coach Tracy Hamm was pleased with the way her team performed, especially with the game meaning so much for both teams’ playoff chances.

“I thought to date, this was our best game,” said Hamm. “From the back line, all the way to our strikers, I thought we put what we’ve been working on all season on the field and it paid off.”

After a sluggish first half where both teams were unable to find an offensive rhythm, the Gators were able to make some adjustments at halftime and find some offensive success.

“We switched up formations and some personal, and we were able to capitalize on some of the mismatches in their backline,” said Hamm.

The second half saw an increase in physicality as well. A total of nine fouls were committed in the second half and yellow cards were issued to Stanislaus State’s Kassandra Le and SF State’s Ana Williams.

Stanislaus State did not go away quietly. In the final minutes of the game, the Warriors put pressure on the Gators defense but SF State was able to withstand the onslaught and almost scored a second goal on a counter attack. The whistle sounded as goalkeeper Nicki Rucki held onto the ball after the Warriors’ last attempt at an equalizer.

“There was about 15 minutes where they were just going at us,” said Sophomore defender Janessa Staab. “It was really important that we kept our head in the game, we didn’t drop the ball for one minute and we’re able to keep it out of the goal.”

The Gators return to Cox Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 21 for their final regular season home game against the undefeated Chico State.

Not only does the game on Sunday have postseason ramifications, but it is also senior day, where the teams’ five seniors will be honored before the game. Staab believes this will give the team extra motivation.

“We’re going to bring it, we know what we have to do,” said Staab. “We always show up on senior day. We want to win for our seniors, so I think we’re going to do it.”

Sports Reporter
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