SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State men's soccer team closes out the non-conference portion of their schedule this weekend with a road match at the causeway rival UC Davis Aggies. Although Davis is a member of the Big West, Saturday's game will be played as a non-conference match up and is the final non-conference tune up for both squads. Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 4:00 pm at Aggie Soccer Field.
How To Watch
All links, news, and updates can also be found by visiting the 2018 Men's Soccer Schedule online at HornetSports.com.
About Last Week
Sacramento State split two games last week, falling at home to Gonzaga, 2-1, before defeating San Francisco, 3-2 in overtime, on the road.
The loss at home to Gonzaga featured perhaps the goal of the year from freshman Alejandro Alcantara, an incredible volley from inside the box. Unfortunately, it was the team's only goal on the afternoon.
Sunday's win at San Francisco was the Hornets' second overtime win this season as Benji Kikanovic scored his second overtime game-winner of the season. Dom Scotti and RJ Moorhouse each scored in the win, as well, while goalkeeper Ryan Curtis made just his second career start.
Against UC Davis
Sacramento State has faced their Causeway rivals 25 times since 1991, including twice per season every year since 2012. All-time, the Aggies lead the rivalry matchup 14-9-2 and have won three of the last five. 11 of those 25 matches have come at Davis, where the Hornets have actually had more success than at home, playing to a 5-5-1 record all time.
Last year, Sacramento State dropped both ends of a home-and-home, falling 2-0 in Sacramento and again 3-0 in Davis. Over the last five matches, Sacramento State has been outscored 9-3 by the Aggies.
Scouting the Aggies
- UC Davis comes into Saturday's matchup with a 6-1-2 overall record.
- The Aggies did not pick up their first loss of the season until their last match against then #17 Saint Mary's last Saturday.
- The Aggies went 13 matches between losses, dating back to last season. Before falling to Saint Mary's, UC Davis last lost on Oct. 18, 2017.
- UC Davis has been ranked among the top 25 for four straight weeks (17, 17, 13, 17). They have also been regionally ranked every week this season, including as high as #1 in the Far West.
- The Aggies have allowed just six goals all season. Their goalkeeper, junior Wallis Lapsley, is a two-time and defending Big West Defensive Player of the Week and owns the conference's best goals against average at 0.53.
- Offensively, UC Davis is led by junior forward Adam Mickleson, who has a team-leading 10 points on three goals and four assists.
- UC Davis was picked to finish fourth in the Big West Preseason Poll.
Nationally Ranked Aggies
UC Davis enters this weekend's matchup against Sacramento State as the #17 team in the nation according to United Soccer Coaches. They have been ranked among the top 25 in each of the last four weeks, reaching as high as #13 last week before their first loss of the year to Saint Mary's.
Against Ranked Opponents
Saturday's match against the #17 Aggies will be Sacramento State's third against a top-25 program this season. So far, they are 0-1-1 after a tie at #22 Portland and a loss at home to #23 Saint Mary's. #17 UC Davis will be the Hornets' highest-ranked opponent since 2016 when they defeated then #15 Utah Valley, 3-2.
Not A Conference Matchup
Despite both teams being members of the Big West Conference, Saturday's match between the Hornets and Aggies is not a part of the conference schedule. Sacramento State and UC Davis will play again later this year in Sacramento in a conference game.
Saturday's match between the Hornets and Aggies is the final non-conference match of the season for both teams. For Sacramento State, they look to end the non-conference season with back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Conference play begins next week for the Hornets when they host UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
Sacramento State's overtime win at San Francisco last week was their second such victory of the season (also a 5-4 win in overtime at CSU Bakersfield). The Hornets have gone to overtime four times this season and are a combined 2-0-2 in those games. The team's two overtime wins are tied for most in the Big West this season. Last season, Sacramento State went to overtime seven times and went 2-3-2.
Dom Scotti scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season on Sunday at San Francisco, tied for third most in the Big West this season. He has scored his five goals in just eight games for the league's second best goals per game at 0.71. Including last season, Scotti has scored an impressive nine total goals in just his last 14 games.
Benji Kikanovic scored his second game-winning goal of the season Sunday at San Francisco in the 94th minute. It was the freshman's second overtime game-winner this season, the first a 96th minute goal at CSU Bakersfield. He has four goals total this season, tied for fifth most in the league.
Moorhouse's Career First
RJ Moorhouse delivered his first career goal Sunday at San Francisco. The sophomore has one goal on five shots while also adding an assist this season. As a freshman, Moorhouse took just six shots all season, placing four on goal.
Alcantara's Career First
Freshman Alejandro Alcantara scored his first career goal in Thursday's loss at home, but it was likely the goal of the season. Alcantara volleyed a cross from Jack Larter from just 15 out for a brilliant equalizer against Gonzaga Alcantara has four total shots this season with Thursday's his only one on goal.
Curtis In Goal
Freshman Ryan Curtis made his second career start last Sunday in the Hornets' 3-2 win over San Francisco. Curtis has played in three total games this season while making 11 saves. In three total games this season, Curtis has a 2-1-0 goalkeeper record.
Lending a Hand
Senior Brad Bumgarner leads the Hornets and is tied for fifth in the Big West with three assists so far this season. Halfway through the season, Bumgarner is just one assist off his career high of four.
Dom Scotti (five goals) and Benji Kikanovic (four goals, two assists) are tied for the team lead with 10 points each. They are tied for third in the Big West. Last season, Sacramento State had three players finish in double-digit points while three others had eight or more.
Goals on Both Ends
Despite the seventh-best record in the Big West, Sacramento State has scored the fourth most goals in the league (14) behind UC Irvine (20), CSUN (19), and UC Davis (15). However, they have also given up the second most goals (21), head of only UC Riverside (25).
Second Half Strong
The Hornets have been more aggressive in nearly every offensive category in the second half this season. They have scored more goals in the second half compared to the first half (7-5), taken more shots (47-30), and taken more corner kicks (28-9). In overtime, Sacramento State has added another two goals and six shots, though they have just one overtime corner kick.
On The Road Again
Saturday's match at UC Davis will be Sacramento State's seventh road match through their first 10 total games. They are 2-1-2 on the road, plus 0-0-1 on a neutral field, through their first six road games. That ratio will flip when they play four of seven Big West matches at home at Hornet Field.
With Sunday's win at San Francisco, head coach Mike Linenberger is now just one win shy of his 200th career win. He has accumulated a record of 199-291-63 as a head coach, including a mark of 42-62-18 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.