SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State men's soccer team (1-1-1) prepares to close a season-long three-match home stand hosting San Francisco (3-1-0) at 4 p.m. Thursday at Hornet Field.
The match will be a Green Army game with free food from Chipotle for the first 50 Green Army members in attendance and Herky's PK Challenge at halftime.
The Dons will arguably be Sacramento State's toughest competition to date on the young season as they come to Sacramento with a 3-1-0 record with wins over LIU Brooklyn, Air Force, and San Jose State. The team's only loss was at No. 5 Cal, a 1-0 setback in which the game was scoreless until the Golden Bears scored with just 19 seconds remaining in regulation.
USF returned eight starters and 17 letter winners from its 2012 squad that went 6-7-5. The team was picked to finish fourth in the highly competitive West Coast Conference (WCC) and had three players named preseason all-Conference. The Hornets took a 2-1 loss at San Francisco last season but blanked the Dons 2-0 in Sacramento in 2011.
Sacramento State battled Seattle to a 1-1 tie on Sunday to move its season record to 1-1-1. Senior Gabe Silveira made a triumphant return to the lineup and scored the Hornets lone goal early in the second half, tallying the ninth goal of his career. Silveira's return helped the Hornets to season-highs in shots (20) and shots on goal (9) while placing three shots on goal himself. Junior Chimdum Mez, who assisted on Silveira's goal, posted an individual team season-best six shots in the contest as the Hornets forced the Seattle goalkeeper to make eight saves to earn the tie.
The overtime result continued an impressive streak of extra-time success for Sacramento State. The Hornets have managed to win or tie in each of their last 22 overtime matches dating back to 2010. The team is 10-0-12 in those matches since dropping a 4-3 double-overtime result to North Carolina State in its 2010 season opener. Sacramento State opened the 2013 season with its double-overtime win at San Jose State and earned the tie on Sunday to extend its streak.
The Hornets opened the 2013 season with one win, one loss, and one tie for the second consecutive year. The squad opened 2012 with a loss at Oregon State followed by a win over San Diego and a tie with Saint Mary's. The team then earned a win over Seattle to move to 2-1-1 a year ago and will be looking for a similar result in game No. 4 this year.
Thursday will be Sacramento State's final non-conference home match before the team embarks on a four-match road trip to end the non-conference portion of its schedule. The Hornets will play on the road for three consecutive weekends before opening the Big West season at home vs. defending conference champion and No. 11-ranked Cal State Northridge on Oct. 4.
The team's tough road slate begins against another WCC team at Saint Mary's on Saturday. The Gaels are 2-1-0, with their only loss a double-overtime 2-1 final against Cal State Northridge. After going 9-5-5 last season Saint Mary's, which hosts UC Davis on Thursday, was picked fifth in the WCC preseason poll. The Hornets earned a 0-0 tie with Saint Mary's last year when the Gaels were ranked No. 18.