SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State men's soccer team continue their season-opening road trip with a stop at CSU Bakersfield before returning home for their home opener on Sunday, Sept. 2 against San Jose State.
How To Watch
Sacramento State's Friday match on the road at CSU Bakersfield will stream live online. Live stats will also be available on HornetStats.com. As always, in-game updates can be found on Twitter, @SacStMSoccer.
Sunday's home opener against San Jose State will also be available to watch online. Live stats will be available online at HornetStats.com and in-game updates will be provided on Twitter, @SacStMSoccer.
All links can be found by visiting the 2018 Men's Soccer Schedule online at HornetSports.com.
About Last Week
The Hornets opened the season with a weekend trip to the state of Oregon where they took on #22 Portland and Oregon State.
In last Friday's season-opener, the Hornets played the #22 ranked Portland Pilots to a 1-1 draw. Dominic Scotti scored the season's first goal just 55 seconds into the match. The Hornets played down a man for 105 minutes after an early red card for Jack Larter.
On Monday, the Hornets took on the Pac-12's Oregon State Beavers. Scotti gave the Hornets another early lead with his second goal of the season, but a late Beavers score proved the difference in a 2-1 loss.
Far West Recognition
Sacramento State was ranked #9 in the latest United Soccer Coaches Far West region poll. The poll was released on Aug. 28 and includes both of the Hornets road matches to open the season. The Hornets are joined by UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis among the top 10 in the region.
Last season, Sacramento State was ranked in the Far West's top 10 twice, reaching as high as #7 after impressive back-to-back wins at Utah Valley and vs. Northern Illinois.
A WAC Weekend
The Hornets' next two matches both come against Western Athletic Conference competition. Since joining the Big West in 2012, Sacramento State is exactly .500 against WAC teams, going 9-9-2. This weekend's matches are the only two against WAC teams this season. Last year, the Hornets were 2-1 against teams from the WAC.
Sacramento State opens the weekend with a Friday night match at CSU Bakersfield. All-time, the Hornets are just 1-4-1 on the road at CSUB, and are 4-7-3 overall. The Hornets have not beaten the Roadrunners since the 2010 season and have not won in Bakersfield since 2009.
Sparring with the Spartans
Since moving to Division I for the 1991 season, the Hornets have not faced any team more than they have faced San Jose State. Since 1991, the Spartans lead the all-time series, 20-13-3, though the Hornets have taken the last two contests back-to-back. Over their last five matches, the Hornets are 4-1 against San Jose State, including 2-0 at home.
Senior midfielder and team captain Dominic Scotti has scored both goals for Sacramento State through the early going. Both of his goals have came very early in matches, as he scored just 55 seconds into the season-opener at #22 Portland and in the 8th minute at Oregon State.
Dating back to last season, Scotti has scored six goals in his last eight games.
Friday's match at CSU Bakersfield will be the Hornets' third straight road contest to open the 2018 season. So far, they are 0-1-1 on the road this year. In total, 10 of Sacramento State's 17 matches are on the road.
Last year, the Hornets found success on the road, playing to a combined 5-4-1 record on the road or at neutral sites.
Through the season's first two games, Sacramento State's five yellow cards are the second most in the conference. They are the only team to have been shown the red, as well. Tyler Moss, who totaled a team-high six yellows last year, already has two, while Jack Larter has the team's lone red.
The Higher They're Ranked
Sacramento State's match against #22 Portland was the first of what will likely be at least three ranked contests this year (Cal, #14; Pacific, #17; UCI, UCSB receiving votes). Under head coach Mike Linenberger, the Hornets have five wins against nationally ranked teams, including most recently, a 3-2 win over #15 Utah Valley and a 5-2 win over #13 UC Santa Barbara. During that time, the team's highest-ranked win came at home against #10 UC Irvine, 2-0, in 2010.
Head coach Mike Linenberger is just three wins shy of his 200th career win. He has accumulated a record of 197-287-62 as a head coach, including a mark of 40-58-17 during a six-plus year period in the Big West. Linenberger has guided the Hornets to the Big West Tournament in each of the last two seasons.
The Hornets played three preseason exhibition contests this season, hosting both Bethesda University and Sonoma State while facing Santa Clara on the road. Sacramento State came on strong in all three matches, defeating Bethesda and Sonoma State, both 6-0, while playing to a 2-2 draw at Santa Clara.
No More Divisions
For the first time since Sacramento State joined the Big West in 2012, the conference is restructuring from two divisions (North and South) to no divisions. In the past, a team played each team in its division twice and teams in the opposite division once for nine games. Now, a team will play each other team in the conference once, resulting in just seven conference games each season.
Previously, the top three teams from each division advanced to the postseason tournament. With the new, no-division structure, the top six teams overall will clinch a postseason berth.