SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Cosumnes River women's soccer team is one week into the Big 8 schedule, and they're playing their best soccer of the season.  They haven't allowed a goal in three matches, and haven't lost in a month, as the Hawks have become one of the top defensive teams in the entire state.  CRC will put their undefeated conference record on the line today when they host the Vikings of Diablo Valley College.

Led by their outstanding "back four," including standout freshman goalkeeper Anna Brown, CRC begins their Big 8 conference schedule 3-0, with key victories over Santa Rosa, Modesto and Sacramento City.  Their defense has played so well, in fact, the Hawks have yet to concede a goal in conference play.  They also have not lost a match in a month, when they fell to defending state champion Cerritos College 2-1 on the road.  Brown has been a large part of that, recording shutouts in her last three matches, and leading the team to a 6-1-2 record this season.  She was honored as CRC's Student-Athlete of the Week this past week.

As well as CRC has played, however, they aren't overlooking the Vikings.  "(It's) another Big 8 match, and it's always tough getting wins in this conference," said head coach Cesar Plasencia.  "We are training and playing well."

Despite beginning conference play undefeated, the Hawks have been hampered by injuries as of late.  Sophomore forward Vilma Gonzalez, the team's offensive catalyst, will return to action today after missing the match versus Sacramento City.  The team also has seen some improvement in other players as the season has gone on, leaving the Hawks hopeful for a deep postseason run this season.

"Brianna Ascencio is a player who I think is ready to get to the next level," said Plasencia of his freshman midfielder from Cosumnes Oaks HS.  The team is hopeful Ascencio (pictured right) can emerge as an important part of the team's improved offensive attack as they prepare for the rest of conference play.  "She's been training and playing well."  "We will need her to get our attack to that next level."

The Vikings have struggled thus far this season, currently in possession of a 3-3-3 overall record, including a 1-1 start to Big 8 play.  The team defeated American River last Friday.  With that said, the Hawks certainly will not overlook anybody in the Big 8 conference, and look to improve their overall mark as they near the halfway point of the Big 8 season.  "We are looking forward to our next challenge," said Plasencia before today's match.  There's little doubt his defense is too, as they look to post their fourth consecutive shutout.

Today's match is scheduled for 3:30.  Tickets are $6 for general admission, $4 for seniors, and $2 for children.  Admission is always free for CRC students, staff and faculty.  Concessions will be available to purchase at the event.