The USF Dons women’s soccer team took on the Sacramento State University Hornets at Negoesco Stadium on Friday night. The Dons claimed victory in a one-sided affair, which ended 5-0.
The match started quickly, with Sacramento State winning two early corner kicks and heaping pressure onto the Don’s backline. Eight minutes into the game, momentum shifted when USF won a free kick about 5 yards outside of the box. Junior Izzie Lueken’s initial ball into the box was cleared to the right wing, where she was able to regain possession and play a short pass to fellow junior Miciah Madison who crossed the ball in to the back post, where redshirt junior Samantha Jehnings waited unmarked and tapped the ball into the net from close range.
The Dons struck again only two minutes later, when another free kick was won from an almost identical spot to the first one. Lueken elected to go for goal herself with an exquisite strike, forcing the Hornets’ goalkeeper Kaylyn Evans into a full extension save off the crossbar. Madison found herself in the right place at the right time to control the rebound with her chest and volley the ball home from a few yards out.
In the 17th minute, junior Olivia Camera launched the ball upfield to the halfway line, where it was flicked on through the air by Jehnings into the path of Madison. A slip by a Hornets defender gave Madison a clear path to the goal, but she chose to pass to Jehnings, who had continued her run from midfield and tapped the ball in to give the Dons a commanding 3-0 lead.
Just a minute later, the Dons made it 4-0 when Madison racked up her third assist of the night, sliding freshman Kalena Teufel through on goal. Teufel struck a powerful shot towards the near post, leaving the Hornets’ Evans no chance for a save.
The Dons continued to control the game in the second half when, 70 minutes into the game, senior Cassidy Kaumeyer put the finishing touches on a dominating night. Kaumeyer struck the ball from outside the box into the roof of Evans’ net to make it 5-0.
After the game, Madison commented on what allowed her to play effectively in the game. “[The Hornets] gave me a lot of opportunities to find a lot of slip balls.”
When asked about the significance of the victory after the game, Coach Millinder said, “Tonight was a good team effort, a good win and a good bounce-back from our Oklahoma trip.”
The Dons were able to bring this positive momentum into their second matchup of the weekend when they took on the visiting University of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine on Sunday afternoon.
San Francisco started strong with 12 shots in the first half, forcing the Rainbow Wahine’s Alexis Mata to make 8 big saves before the halftime whistle was blown in order to keep the game even at 0-0.
The Dons were not deterred by their inability to find the back of the net in the first half, starting the second quickly by peppering the Rainbow Wahine’s goal with 5 shots in the first 10 minutes of the half.
In the 57th minute of the match, the Dons got the breakthrough they had been looking for in the form of a familiar connection. Madison put in a low cross from the right side of the box, finding Jehnings who had drifted in front of her marker at the near post to tap the ball home from 6 yards out for the opening goal of the game. This was Jehnings’ 8th goal of the season and Madison’s 7th assist, both team highs this season.
The Dons continued to push for another goal, winning a corner kick in the 64th minute, which sophomore Ashley Humphrey lined up to take. The left-footer hit an in-swinging ball which went through to the middle of the box after being missed by a player from both teams at the near post. After some frantic attempts to clear the ball by the Rainbow Wahine, freshman Cassidy George found the ball at her feet and put it across the line for her first goal as a Don. Despite an attempted clearance off the line by the Rainbow Wahine’s Natalie Daub, the head referee allowed the goal after confirmation from his assistant.
The game concluded 2-0 in a Dons victory, with the Dons totaling 26 shots to the Rainbow Wahine’s 4.
Millinder praised the recurring Madison-to-Jehnings connection. “They’ve just got a good understanding with each other,” he said.
“We just know where to be for each other,” Jehnings added.
The Dons improved to 7-3-0, with a home matchup coming up against the University of California, Irvine Anteaters on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Negoesco Stadium.