SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Sacramento State men's soccer team battled the Cal Poly Mustangs for 68 scoreless minutes before a late outburst of offense lifted the Mustangs over the Hornets, 3-0.
Sacramento State drops to 2-3 in Big West play (4-9-2 overall) while the Mustangs picked up their first win in conference, improving to 1-3-1 (5-7-2 overall).
Even with the loss, the Hornets remain ver y much in the hunt for a spot in the Big West Conference tournament. As action around the conference wrapped up Wednesday night, the Hornets moved to sixth in the league. The top six teams in the conference move on for postseason play.
All three Mustangs goals Wednesday night came in the final 22 minutes of play as Cal Poly finally wore down the Sacramento State backline. The first came in the 68th minute on a throw in that just got behind the Hornets defense. Six minutes later, Cal Poly added another goal in the 74th minute before scoring their third in the 83rd.
The three goals came toward the end of a long game for the Hornets backline. Cal Poly was aggressive against Sacramento State all night, piling up 11 total shots in the first half before adding another nine in the second. They also added eight corner kicks.
Sacramento State had their share of looks as well, though they were fewer and more spread out over the course of the 90-minute match. In total, Sacramento State took six shots, placing three on goal. They took four corner kicks.
Benji Kikanovic (two shots, one on goal) and Brad Bumgarner (two shots) led the team in shots, though it was Tyler Moss who had one of the best looks at the goal for the Hornets. After receiving a pass from midfield, Moss dribbled into open space before firing a shot from 30 yards out. It was on frame and it took every inch of the 6-foot, 4-inch Mustangs keeper, diving far to his right, to tip the ball wide and out of play.
Dane Scnhell was responsible the team's remaining shot and shot on goal. For Schnell, a freshman who played with the New Zealand U20 national team before joining the Hornets, appeared in his first Big West match of the year Wednesday night, returning from a foot injury he suffered early in the year.
Wednesday night's loss was Sacramento State's third loss on the road in Big West play. They have been shut out in all three of those losses.
Fortunately, the Hornets are done with road conference matches as they return home to Hornet Field on Saturday. Saturday afternoon's match against the UC Riverside Highlanders is scheduled for a 3:00 pm kick. UC Riverside (3-2-0 Big West) is one of the teams ahead of Sacramento State and the Hornets can pull even with them with a win.
Saturday is also Alumni Day at Hornet Field. The men's soccer team will recognize and celebrate alumni with a special halftime presentation.
More information can always be found by visiting the Men's Soccer homepage online at HornetSports.com.