Griz drop 1-0 decision to Sacramento State
Published: October 8, 2011
Sacramento State junior midfielder Victoria Ramirez had the biggest offensive play of the game and later made a key defensive stop to lead the Hornets to a 1-0 victory over Montana Friday on a chilly, wet afternoon at South Campus Stadium.
Ramirez, the Big Sky Conference’s second leading scorer behind Montana junior Erin Craig, scored her sixth goal of the season in the 12th minute.
Just over 20 minutes later an offensive flurry by Montana off a corner kick pulled Sac State keeper Savannah Abercrombie out of position.
Griz sophomore India Watne had a good look at the goal, but Ramirez, who had set up in a defensive position along the goal line on the corner kick, made the save on Watne’s shot from 10 yards out to preserve the Hornets’ one-goal lead.
The result put Montana (4-8-1) and Sacramento State (5-7-0) both 1-1-0 through two Big Sky Conference matches.
The final score puts a negative spin on what was one of Montana’s best offensive performances of the season.
The Grizzlies took 19 shots, putting six on goal, and had goal-scoring opportunities from the sixth minute – when freshman Tyler Adair put a shot off the crossbar – to the 85th – when Craig’s seventh and final shot of the match was saved by Abercrombie.
“We played a fantastic game today,” UM coach Mark Plakorus said. “I thought we controlled the pace of the game, and I thought it was our best passing game this season.
“We created a number of opportunities, and that’s all you can do. Their keeper did what she’s supposed to do. She made a number of big saves.”
Montana has been outscored by more than a 3-to-1 ratio in the first half this season – including Friday’s match, the Griz have been outscored in the opening 45 minutes 19 to 6 – and that trend continued.
Ramirez got into the 18-yard box and put a shot on goal that was saved by a sliding Kristen Hoon. The rebound slipped over Hoon and toward the goal, where a number of Griz defenders watched Ramirez put back her own rebound at 11:25.
“I think we thought somebody else was going to clear it,” Plakorus said as the only possible explanation. “We kind of froze for a second and gave their kid an opportunity to get in, and she took advantage of it and jumped on the ball.”
Montana continued with the pressure. The Grizzlies took 11 shots in the opening half, forcing Abercrombie to make four saves.
Her best came on a shot by freshman defender Shannon Lindsay in the 37th minute. Lindsay’s drive from 30 yards out was heading for the upper right corner of the goal, but Abercrombie emerged from traffic in front of the goal and made a leaping save.
Montana has outscored its opponents in the second half this season, 11 to 10, but could not find the equalizer in the final frame despite additional chances.
Craig led both teams with seven shots. She was one of eight different UM players to take a shot.
Junior Ashley Tombelaine took three, Watne, Adair and junior Lauren McCreath two each.
Abercrombie, who made five saves for the match, has played every minute in goal for the Hornets this season and posted her fourth shutout while improving to 5-7-0.
Hoon made four saves in the match and dropped to 3-6-0.
“I have no complaints about the way our girls played today,” Plakorus added. “I thought we played well, and I thought we fought hard. We just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.”
Montana will host Portland State Sunday at 11 a.m. at South Campus Stadium. The Vikings played at Eastern Washington Friday evening.