SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sophomore Edwin Luna and junior Chimdum Mez scored within the opening 24 minutes of the match as Sacramento State earned a 2-1 win over Sonoma State in its final exhibition match before opening the 2013 season.
"It was good for Chim to get a goal; he's worked hard all spring and summer to improve his game," Sacramento State head coach Michael Linenberger said. "Edwin's first collegiate goal came on a tremendous strike and that's always good for confidence for your goal scorers."
Luna put the Hornets on the board less than five and a half minutes into the contest. A corner kick taken by Hornet senior Gabe Silveira was deflected and then headed out by the Sonoma State defense but came right to Luna, who fired a one-time shot out of the air to give his team a very early lead.
In the 24th minute Sacramento State mounted an attack off a Sonoma State corner kick that would lead to its second goal. The corner try was cleared quickly to midfielder Trevor Jackson, who fired a perfect pass up field to find Mez streaking to the goal. The junior moved in from the top of the box and beat Seawolve goalkeeper Beau Diaz to put the Hornets up 2-0.
The Seawolves nearly cut their deficit in half two minutes later as sophomore Benton Frame fired on the Sacramento State goal but was denied on a superb diving stop by Hornet senior goalkeeper Cesar Castillo. That would be Sonoma State's only shot on goal of the half as the Hornets had a 12-6 shot advantage and put six tries on frame in a fine opening period.
"We were pleased with the first half," Linenberger said. "A couple things we tried to work on in the days after the Stanford match were working on our midfield rotation and movement, and we thought those three did a much better job, and we also tried to work on our team defending and tried to press with numbers today and I thought we did a good job with that."
The Hornet bench earned some experience in the second half and maintained the team's two-goal lead until the 79th minute, when the Seawolves took advantage of a Hornet defender slipping on the turf and turned it into an odd-man attack. Hornet freshman goalkeeper James Del Curto stopped the initial Sonoma State shot but the rebound would be headed home by Seawolve junior Anders Perez to make it a 2-1 match.
Sonoma State pushed for the equalizer over the final 12 minutes of regulation but the Sacramento State defense did not permit another shot on goal to preserve the win.
After solid exhibition performances against Stanford and Sonoma State, the Hornets will open the 2013 regular season at 7 p.m. Friday at San Jose State.