SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- After a pair of home victories to open Big Sky Conference play last weekend, North Dakota's first conference road test turned out quite differently.
Three different goal-scorers found the net and reigning Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week Aaliyah Fesili made nine saves to carry Sacramento State past North Dakota 3-0 on Friday evening at Hornet Field.
It was the first Big Sky loss of the season for the Fighting Hawks, who dropped to 2-1-0 in league play and 4-4-3 overall. The Hornets, meanwhile, earned their first conference win of the year to improve to 1-0-2 (6-4-2 overall).
Andrea Boehm's goal in the seventh minute opened the scoring and held up as the game-winner, as UND was unable to get its offense untracked despite 16 shot attempts (nine on goal).
Kylee Kim-Bustillos made it 2-0 at the 19-minute mark and Skylar Littlefield rounded out the scoring eight minutes into the second half.
"We played some good soccer," said UND head coach Chris Logan. "[We] hit the post, forced some incredible saves from their goalkeeper and always believed we could find a way back. As a staff we couldn't be prouder of the effort and dedication."
UND, which was seeking its first 3-game winning streak in 12 years, could not solve Fesili. Big Sky scoring leader Katie Moller led the Fighting Hawks with three shots on goal while freshman Mimi Eiden added a pair.
"We lost to a very good Sacramento State team today," continued Logan, "but the team never gave in and tried to get back in the game right until the end."
With their three goals, the Hornets became the first Big Sky foe to solve UND goalkeeper Catherine Klein, who was responsible for both shutout wins last weekend in Grand Forks. Tonight's were the first goals allowed by Klein since a 1-1 tie at Northern Iowa on Sept. 17.
Despite the loss, Logan left the field encouraged by his team's showing heading into Sunday's tilt at Northern Arizona.
"This team refuses to lay down and we become more proud of them every game."