SF State women’s soccer team earns a gritty 1-0 victory over rival Cal State East Bay
A complete team effort earned the Gators their first conference win this season.
October 3, 2022
The SF State women’s soccer team (3-6-2) ended a five-game winless streak with a 1-0 victory over the Cal State East Bay Pioneers Sunday.
Both teams—eager for a win in the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference—came to Sunday’s game without any wins for their last five games.
On Friday the Gators played Cal State Stanislaus and lost 2-0.
SF State center back AJ Tanner, who played all 90 minutes, said this win felt good after an unstable start to the season and she thinks this win will propel the squad.
“It feels awesome,” Tanner said. “Everyone’s heads are up high. I think our team is sometimes streaky, so once we win, it’s very contagious for us.”
Both squads had a handful of opportunities to score in the first half but were just off the mark.
The Gators had the first clear chance of the game. In the 7th minute, defender/midfielder Sydney Yuen passed the ball to forward Alyna Flores. Flores passed the ball into the penalty area where midfielder Julia Hagedorn hit a volley just over the goal.
One corner kick by the Pioneers led to a clean header that almost broke the deadlock, but was cleared off the line by midfielder Mikenna Madelans covering the first post.
The first half ended 0-0 and both teams had six shots on target. The second half was a continuation of the first half, with both squads creating chances from the wings.
Head coach John DeMartini told Yuen during halftime that in the second half, she should receive the ball a certain way and if she moved from side to side, she would have an open chance because the Pioneer’s defense would overcommit.
63 minutes in, Yuen took his advice and scored the winning goal on a first-time shot inside the box, assisted by midfielder Samantha Shim and forward Sydney Vidos.
Yuen slipped into the seam, which overcommitting defenders left open. Vidos found Yuen with a perfect ball into the 12-yard box.
DeMartini said he saw this win coming due to their relentless hard work.
“They are finally being rewarded for their belief in what we are trying to do,” DeMartini said.
Defender Emily Monson—who also played the entire game—was the other starting center-back along with Tanner.Monson credits the entire team for not allowing a goal during the game.
“We take a lot of pride for it, especially being in the defensive line, but it was a whole team effort,” Monson said. “Today we played collectively; we played as a team and held each other accountable for every single thing, we worked all together and that was beautiful work.”
Following the victory, DeMartini said his team would follow the after-game ritual.
They hop in the travel van and take “15-minute windows,” where the team doesn’t talk about anything. The team thinks about their performance, then cranks up the music on their way to grab food.
“It’s like we’re never out of a game and then learning to manage a game was huge today,” DeMartini said. “I’m excited for the girls, their hard work is starting to pay off.”