SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State men's soccer team hits the road as they continue conference play for the 2017 season. The team will head to sunny southern California where they will take on the UC Riverside Highlanders (10/5) and the Cal State Fullerton Titans (10/7).
Scouting UC Riverside (0-9, 0-2 Big West)
The road trip through southern California starts with a Thursday night match against the winless UC Riverside Highlanders. The Hornets and Highlanders faced each other twice last season, both times at Hornet Field, splitting the series. Sacramento State dropped the first match 2-0 while taking the second 2-1. The last time the Hornets traveled to Riverside, they fell to the Highlanders 3-1.
All-time, the Hornets are just 4-6-3 against UC Riverside. In the last five matches, the Highlanders have dominated the Hornets to the tune of 4-1. In addition, the Hornets have never won in Riverside (0-3-2).
UC Riverside enters play Thursday with a 0-9 record, their worst start to a season in the last 20 years. Among their nine losses is a hard-fought loss on the road to the then-ranked #17 Omaha Mavericks, as well as close losses on the road to other top-100 teams like Loyola Marymount (2-1), Gonzaga (1-0), and GCU (5-4).
Offensively, they are led by sophomore forward Anthony Lopez, whose 21 shots taken are tied for fourth most in the conference. As a team, however, they rank near the bottom in almost every offensive category, including shots, (6th), points (8th), goals (8th, and assists (8th).
Quick Facts vs. UC Riverside
- Thursday, October 5 at 8:00 pm PT
- UC Riverside Soccer Stadium - Riverside, CA
- Live stats: UCR Stats
Scouting Cal State Fullerton (6-4-1, 1-1-0 Big West)
The Hornets then take on the Cal State Fullerton Titans in a Saturday night match at Fullerton's Titan Stadium. Sacramento State defeated Cal State Fullerton in their only matchup last season, winning 1-0 at Hornet Field.
All-time, the Hornets are 3-4 against the Titans. All three of those wins have come at home, however, and Sacramento State is winless in four trips to Cal State Fullerton.
The Titans enter play Thursday with a 6-4-1 record (they are scheduled to host UC Davis Thursday before facing Sacramento State on Saturday) and are 1-1 in conference. They have a notable win over division rival Cal Poly, 1-0 at Cal Poly. They dropped a home match 2-0 to Utah Valley, a team that Sacramento State beat on the road 2-1.
The Titans are middle-of-the-pack in terms of offensive production, but do lead the conference in shutouts with five. Three of those shutouts belong to sophomore keeper Paul-Andre Guerin while the other two are sophomore keeper Alfredo Cortez's.
On the offensive side of the ball, Ross McPhie leads the squad with five goals this season. That number is tied for second in the Big West while his 11 points are tied for third.
Quick Facts vs. Cal State Fullerton
- Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7:00 pm
- Titan Stadium - Fullerton, CA
- Live stats: Fullerton Live Stats
Senior keeper James Del Curto surpassed the 200 save mark this past weekend, making a combined 11 saves against CSUN and UC Irvine. Del Curto now has 210 career saves, making him just the fifth ever Hornet to pass the 200 mark in program history. Overall, he ranks fifth in program history, 12 behind Gary Davis (1992-95).
The program record is held by current assistant coach Matt McDougall, who recorded 306 saves from 2002-2005.
Goalkeeper Saves - Career
1. Matt McDougall (2002-05) - 306
2. Cesar Castillo (2010-13) - 243
3. Bryan Oliver (2008-12) - 238
4. Gary Davis (1992-95) - 222
5. James Del Curto (2013-pres.) - 210
Take A Shot
The Hornets took a season-high 16 shots in their 3-3 draw with UC Irvine this past Sunday. For the season, the team is averaging 10.2 shots per game.
State of the Conference
Sacramento State's 1-0-1 record heading into this weekend is good for second in the Big West North division (tied with UC Davis). UC Santa Barbara leads the North division and is the only 2-0 team in the conference. Sacramento State, UC Davis, and UC Santa Barbara, all north division teams, are the only undefeated teams in the conference.
Twice As Nice
Sophomore forward Christian Webb scored two goals in the Hornets' 3-3 draw against UC Irvine last weekend, his first two-goal game of the season. Webb's four goals this year lead the team while he is tied with Justin Bedig for the team-lead with eight points.
Webb and Bedig are the only two players with two goals in the same game this season. Bedig scored two in a 4-3 win over Northern Illinois in Orem, Utah.
Matt Carnefix scored his first game-winning goal of the season in the team's 1-0 win over CSUN, making him the fifth Hornets player with a game-winner.
Just Score Two
The Hornets have scored two or more goals in five of their 10 games this year. In those five matches, they are 4-0-1. Over the last five seasons, Sacramento State is 20-3-1 when scoring two or more goals.
On the Road Again
Sacramento State is 3-1 away from Hornet Field (2-1 on the road, 1-0 in neutral site). The team is averaging two goals per match away when on the road (four matches, eight goals).
Second Half Surge
The Hornets are outscoring opponents 8-7 in the second half of matches so far this season despite being outshot 59-52. Through 10 games, the Hornets have scored five times in the first half compared to eight in the second.