BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Sacramento State put together an impressive performance Friday night, holding their own against #5 Indiana and keeping the Hoosiers scoreless for 75 minutes before Indiana converted on a late score to beat the Hornets, 1-0.
The loss is Sacramento State's third of the year as the Hornets fall to 5-3-1. Indiana improves to 5-1-1 with the win.
Heavy underdogs on Friday, Sacramento State put Indiana on notice, going toe-to-toe with the nation's fifth-ranked team in the first half. After 45 minutes, Sacramento State and Indiana were still scoreless and even in shots with five each.
The difference in the first half came in shots on goal, a category the Hoosiers led, 4-1. But Hornets sophomore keeper Ryan Curtis proved up to the challenge, saving all four Indiana shots on frame.
After the half, Sacramento State came out with a new aggressiveness, putting pressure on Indiana and possessing the ball in the Indiana half for nearly 20 straight minutes. During the press, the Hornets piled up six shots, including four on goal, but were unable to find the back of the net.
It was in the 75th minute that Indiana finally broke the scoreless tie as Josh Penn connected with Maouloune Goumballe for his first goal of the year.
Despite falling behind with just 15 minutes remaining, Sacramento State continued to press the attack in search of the equalizer. Unfortunately, they were unable to find open looks until a late chance that very nearly sent the match to overtime.
With the clock ticking down inside 10 seconds, Matt Carnefix sent a ball into the box where Luis Urias headed a shot toward the top of the goal. It took a spectacular leaping save from Indiana's keeper to deflect the ball up and over the goal as time expired.
In the end, the two teams were nearly identical on the box score. Both the Hornets and Hoosiers took 12 shots and both placed six on frame. Kikanovic led the Hornets with four shots, including two on frame, while Oscar Govea added three more (one on frame).
Curtis made five total saves for the Hornets while Indiana's keeper was one better, with six. Indiana also led in corner kicks, 9-5.
While Friday's match was a tough one for the Hornets, the next one won't be much easier as Sacramento State returns to California to take on #6 Saint Mary's on Sunday.
Sunday's match in Moraga is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Details on that game, including notes, links to live stats and video streams, and more, can be found online on the Sacramento State men's soccer schedule at HornetSports.com.