RIVERSIDE, Calif. – In a competitive match Friday night UC Riverside was able to net the only goal in the 61st minute and held on late for a 1-0 win over Sacramento State in Riverside.
The Hornets moved to 2-6-3 on the season and 0-3-0 in the Big West while the Highlanders got their first conference win to improve to 1-2-0 in Big West play and 6-4-2 overall.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first half as the Hornets held a 9-8 shot advantage but shots on goal were even at 3-3. The Highlanders had early pressure with three shots and two corner kicks in the first eight minutes after Sacramento State sophomore Edwin Luna had a shot stopped in the fourth minute.
The Hornets best scoring chance of the first half came in the 30th minute when junior Chimdum Mez had a shot hit the post. The Hornets had two of their five first-half corner kicks in the final minutes of the period but neither would lead to a goal.
UC Riverside came out firing in the second half as Hornet senior goalkeeper Cesar Castillo made two early saves before the Highlanders broke through. In the 61st minute a dump into the corner was corralled by senior Richie Osborne and crossed into the middle, finding senior Ruben Valencia for a header into the left side of the Hornet goal.
The Highlanders remained on the attack en route to a 12-6 shot advantage for the half. Sacramento State was able to keep its deficit at one and made a late push for an equalizer, attempting three shots and two corner kicks in the final six minutes. Senior Gabe Silveira had a shot denied in the 86th minute and Luna fired wide in the final seconds as the Highlanders held on for a 1-0 win.
UC Riverside held a 20-15 overall shot advantage and a 6-4 mark in shots on goal. The Highlanders also had a 9-7 edge in corner kicks while sophomore goalkeeper Ashkan Khosravi made four saves for the shutout. Castillo, who ranks third in the NCAA in saves per game this season, added five stops to his total while Luna led the offensive attack with five shots.
Sacramento State will conclude interdivision Big West play at 3 p.m. Sunday at Cal State Fullerton.