For the second year in a row, Portland State’s women’s soccer team guaranteed themselves a share of the regular-season Big Sky title. The Vikings came away with a 3-1 victory over California State University, Sacramento at Hillsboro Stadium on Friday.
Seniors Megan Martin and Amanda Howie each scored for the Vikings in their final home game, with freshman Cori Bianchini also adding a goal. Head coach Laura Schott is proud of the way her team performed.
“It feels great,” Schott said. “It’s one of our most important goals of the season and we’re proud to reach it. We put ourselves in a position to clinch a share of the championship in the final game of the regular season, and then we performed well in that game. Performing well when the pressure is elevated is key to success.”
Senior Amanda Howie has now scored in three straight games, including a game-winning goal against Weber State. The senior is finishing strong in her last season as a Viking.
“Amanda Howie has had a great year, and she has worked hard for her recent success,” Schott said. “I am very happy for her, and I look forward to seeing what she’ll do next. She’s been solid on defense and, she’s scoring some outstanding goals.”
PSU has one game left, against California State University, Bakersfield. Then it’s on to the Big Sky tournament, where the winner will get an automatic bid in the NCAA championship.
But Schott isn’t looking that far ahead. “We want to win the first game,” she said. “Then we will think about the second game. Ultimately, we want to be in the NCAA tournament.”
Winning a share of the Big Sky regular-season title for the second year in a row says a lot about how hard the Vikings have worked over the last two seasons.
“Every season for every team has ups and downs,” Schott said, adding that the teams “that keep their focus during the lows and don’t celebrate the highs too much” are the ones who are most successful. “That is certainly true about this group. Focus will be very important moving forward, as well.”