MEN'S SOCCER TRAVELS TO COLORADO FOR MPSF DUELS
Game #13: Sacramento State Hornets at Denver Pioneers
Friday, Oct. 19, Pioneer Field, 3 p.m. PT
Game #14: Sacramento State Hornets at Air Force Falcons
Sunday, Oct. 21, Cadet Soccer Stadium, 12 p.m. PT
AT A GLANCE
Sacramento State will travel this week to the state of Colorado for a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation clashes against Denver and Air Force. The Pioneers and Falcons played each other in their lone game of the week, with Air Force coming out the victor, 2-1. Before falling to the Falcons, the Pioneers posted a victory over UNLV and a tie against then-No. 22 New Mexico in MPSF play. Denver is led by Kellan Christensen who ranks second in the MPSF in goals (six) and points (14). His older brother, Kyle Christensen, ranks second on the team and ninth in the MPSF with three goals. Last season, Denver defeated the Hornets in Sacramento, 2-1, and posted a 1-1 tie at Pioneer Field. Air Force enters the week with a 3-7-1 overall record, including a 1-2-0 mark in MPSF play following the win against Denver. Ian Hauck and Kyle Schafer lead the way for the Falcons, each scoring two goals so far this season. In goal, Brian Guyette leads the MPSF in saves (62) and saves per game (5.64), while posting a 1.25 goals against average. Last season, the two teams split their series, with each team winning on their home field. In Sacramento, former Hornet Oscar Sandoval scored two goals in Sacramento State’s 3-1 victory. In Colorado, Andy Nigro scored two unanswered goals to lead the Falcons to a 2-1 comeback victory. Denver holds a 9-3-1 advantage in the all-time series with the Hornets, including a 4-1-1 mark over the last three seasons. Air Force has a 9-7 edge over Sacramento State all-time, but the teams have split the season series the last three years, with each team winning on their home pitch since the MPSF moved to a home-and-home conference schedule.
MILLAN IS GOLDEN IN MPSF OVERTIMES
Senior Eli Millan scored his third golden goal and sixth game-winning goal of his career in the Hornets 1-0 triumph over UNLV. Of the six game-winners, five have come against MPSF competition, including all three of his golden goals.
NO. 22 NEW MEXICO SNEAKS BY HORNETS 1-0
Sacramento State fell to the No. 22 ranked New Mexico Lobos, 1-0, on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Hornet Soccer Field.
The Hornets showed determination from the opening kickoff onward against their nationally ranked foes, engaging in a physical battle with New Mexico. Sacramento State made a promising start, as sophomore David von Stockhausen, making his first start of the season, was able to put a header on goal in the sixth minute that was saved by Lobo ‘keeper Mike Graczyk.
New Mexico then connected on the game’s best scoring opportunity in the 10th minute, as Chris Wright crossed a pass perfectly to David Gualdarama, who volleyed it into the back of the net for his first goal of the season, giving the Lobos a 1-0 advantage.
The Hornets best opportunity came in the 38th minute, as freshman Fernando Cabadas took a shot from 25 yards out that took all 6’1” of Graczyk to save with a one-hand punch over the goal.
Both teams traded near-miss scoring opportunities throughout the rest of the contest, as both backlines did exceptional work clearing away many promising crosses and through balls.
Diego Barrera led the Lobos with three shots, while Cabadas posted three shots, including one on goal to lead the Hornets. Both ‘keepers, Graczyk and Hornet sophomore Ryan Kenny, posted two saves. The teams ended the match tied with eight shots apiece.
MILLAN LEADS HORNETS TO 1-0 OT WIN OVER UNLV
For the second time in as many seasons, the UNLV Rebels were defeated by a golden goal off of the right foot of Hornet senior Eli Millan, as Sacramento State posted a 1-0 overtime victory over the visiting Rebels on Friday, Oct. 12 at Hornet Soccer Field.
Millan’s goal in the 100th minute of play ended what had been a physical defensive battle between conference rivals. Both goalkeepers, Calvin Bailey of the Rebels and Ryan Kenny of the Hornets, played flawlessly for the first 90 minutes of play in less than ideal conditions. Periods of heavy rain throughout the day combined with heavy use during the day’s doubleheader wrecked havoc on the field, which became slippery and very muddy throughout the contest.
UNLV looked to have a 1-0 lead within their grasp in the 63rd minute, as Lamar Neagle had an open opportunity on a header that Kenny was just able to punch over the net for a game-saving stop.
In the first few minutes of overtime, Sacramento State looked in control, but could not put two fairly clear chances on goal due to some fine backline work from the UNLV defense. The Rebels then had two long range shots from Ben Haugland saved by Ryan Kenny, the second of which enabled the counter-attack that would give the Hornets the victory.
Following a deep cross into the box, freshman Cody Shields momentarily controlled the ball with his head before a UNLV defender attempted a clearance header, which deflected off of another player and onto the foot of Millan, who put the ball into the far side of the net for the game-winner.
The match marked the fourth straight contest between the two teams to go to overtime, all four of which have been Hornet victories.