- Western Washington at Stanislaus Warrior Stadium, 4:30 p.m.
- Western Oregon at Stanislaus at Warrior Stadium, 7 p.m.
Perhaps it was instinct. Before Cal State Stanislaus women’s soccer player Karenee Demery spotted the ball in front of her, the Warriors were going through some frustration. They had dominated Fresno Pacific, a NAIA school, for much of the match, including creating more scoring opportunities than the Sunbirds.
And this was it.
Demery scored on a deflection off of a save and punched it in the top left corner to give her Warriors their fifth straight season opening victory, beating the Sunbirds 1-0 in Fresno on Thursday night. It also signified the Warriors’ 11th time in a row that they have began the season without a defeat.
Stanislaus has now won its season opener — home or away — in 10 of the last 11 years with a tie in 2005, with Thursday’s victory being the first road-opening triumph in nine years. Much of the credit goes to Demery, whose reflexes helped her score in the 70th minute when the freshman forward from Merced’s Harvest Christian High found a loose ball after a Marissa Dunaway shot.
Fresno Pacific dropped to 1-2, and the loss was the second consecutive shutout allowed to the Warriors.
“Karenee created a lot of opportunities all game long,” Warriors coach Gabriel Bolton said. “She jumped on a ball that was bouncing around in the box and slammed it home.”
The score highlighted an overwhelming showcase by the Warriors, who outshot Fresno Pacific 15-3, including owning an 8-1 first-half advantage. Such players as midfielder Bernie Bettencourt contributed to the win, while sophomore goalkeeper Millie Brown was called to start and finished with two saves.
The Warriors have one more preseason game before the California Collegiate Athletic Association starts, as they host Western Oregon at Warrior Stadium at 7 p.m. today.
The Warriors men also compete today, playing in their home season opener against Western Washington at 4:30 p.m.