One game, one shot at the title

This is exactly when the future starts to get blurry for Portland State soccer.

This is exactly when the future starts to get blurry for Portland State soccer.

With one game to go and a match up at Sacramento State (9-3-5, 3-0-3) Friday, the Vikings (7-8-2, 3-2-1) have already clinched a spot in the Big Sky Tournament, though depending on how the conference shakes out, Portland State could find itself in any of the top four positions. This includes earning the crown as regular-season Big Sky champion, which would mean hosting the Big Sky Soccer Championship Nov. 8 and 10.

“This is the game we’ve been preparing for all year,” said head coach Tim Bennett. “They knocked us out of the postseason last year, so we’ve had a lot of time to think about it.”

The Hornets, who were picked to finish first in the Big Sky’s preseason coaches’ poll, currently reside in first place. If the Vikings want to take over the top spot, they are going to have to defeat Sacramento State on Friday, then wait and hope that second-place Weber State either loses or draws at Idaho State on Saturday.

Of course, the Vikings can only control their own destiny, and hopefully for Portland State, they can also keep tabs on the Hornets’ offensive juggernaut, senior forward Katie McCoy. McCoy leads the Big Sky with 11 goals this season and is coming off her third weekend of being named Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week.

As always, finding the back of the opponent’s net and ensuring protection of its own will be key for Portland State.

This season Sacramento State has outscored Big Sky opponents 10-3, and Portland State has scored five goals and given up six to conference foes. It will be crucial for Vikings’ goalkeeper Cris Lewis to stymie the Hornets’ potent scoring attack if Portland State wants the Big Sky regular-season title.

Portland State at Sacramento State2:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2