MEN'S SOCCER TEAM SET TO HOST PAIR OF CONFERENCE COLORADO FOES
Game #15: Sacramento State Hornets vs. Denver Pioneers
Friday, Nov. 2, Hornet Soccer Field, 12 p.m.
Game #16: Sacramento State Hornets vs. Air Force Falcons
Sunday, Nov. 4, Hornet Soccer Field, 1 p.m.
AT A GLANCE
After a week away from the pitch, the Hornets return to action as they host Denver and Air Force in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play. Both teams faced Sacramento State two weeks ago in Colorado, with the Hornets coming away with a 1-1 tie against Denver, and a 2-1 victory over Air Force. Denver was the only MPSF team in action a week ago, as they tied Loyola-Chicago 1-1 on the road on Saturday. The Pioneers then had to make up a game on Monday night against San Jose State, after their game on Oct. 21 was cancelled due to snow. Denver was victorious 2-1, as freshman Ryan Aweida connected to his first two career goals, scoring on a game-tying header in the 78th minute, before producing a golden goal header in the 94th minute. With the win, Denver overtook the Hornets for third place in the conference standings, while Aweida was named player of the week. Air Force will face San Jose State on Friday evening before venturing to Hornet Soccer Field on Sunday. The Falcons three-game home winning streak over the Hornets was snapped on Oct. 21, as senior Brandon Baggett headed home a goal off of a pass from the foot of freshman Fernando Cabadas in the 67th minute to give the Hornets the victory. Denver holds a 9-3-2 advantage in the all-time series with the Hornets, including a 4-1-2 mark over the last four seasons. Air Force has a 9-8-0 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. That will change this year, after the Hornets victory over the Falcons in Colorado, that although not played at the Academy. will count as a home game for Air Force.
BLAKE NUNES NAMED BRINE/MPSF POTW
Sacramento State junior Blake Nunes was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation/Brine Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 15-21.
Nunes scored two goals during the Hornets trip to Colorado, leading Sacramento State to a 2-1 win against Air Force and 1-1 draw at Denver, propelling the Hornets, at the time, into third place in the MPSF.
The Wailuku, Hawai’i native scored in the final minute of regulation against Denver, tying the score at 1-1 and forcing overtime. Against Air Force, Nunes scored the opening goal of the contest in the 57th minute, to put the Hornets on top.
Nunes, who had just one goal on the year prior to the Colorado trip, now ranks 11th in the MPSF with 0.25 goals per game.
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 on October 12. Of the six game-winners, five have come against MPSF competition, including all three of his golden goals.
BAGGETT’S HEADER LIFTS HORNETS OVER AIR FORCE
Senior Brandon Baggett’s first goal of the season, a header in the 67th minute, propelled Sacramento State to a 2-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation victory over Air Force on Sunday, Oct. 21 at Washburn Field on the campus of Colorado College.
Snowy conditions forced the game to be delayed two hours, and moved to the Astroplay surface of Division III Colorado College’s football stadium.
With the snowy field conditions and the time delay, both teams started sluggishly on offense, with the two squads combining for just five shots, with no shots on goal, in the first half of play.
After intermission, the Hornets struck first, as for the second straight game junior Blake Nunes found the back of the net. In the 57th minute, he took a through ball from Emmanuel Ochoa and chipped it over Falcon ‘keeper Brian Guyette to give Sacramento State a 1-0 lead.
Air Force would have the answer in the 63rd minute, as they were awarded a penalty kick after Hornet ‘keeper Ryan Kenny was served with a caution, a yellow card, for a take down tackle of Falcon Josh Rhynard in the penalty area. Andy Nigro, who scored two goals in the Falcons victory over the Hornets last season in Colorado, connected on the PK, tieing the score at 1-1.
Sacramento State would come right back, however, as freshman Fernando Cabadas slotted a cross from the left side of the field toward the far post, and Baggett headed it into the back of the net for the game-winner in the 67th minute.
The Hornets, who were led by Cabadas and Blake Nunes with three shots apiece, played without junior Brady Nunes, who sat out a suspension after receiving a pair of cautions in the contest against Denver. Sophomore ‘keeper Ryan Kenny posted three saves, earning his third victory in goal of the season.
Air Force was led by Nigro and Ian Hauck, who had three shots apiece. For the match, the Falcons outshot the Hornets 12-8, but the teams were even in shots on goal with four apiece. All three goals in the game came in a span of exactly 10 minutes, from 56:45 to 66:45.
HORNETS AND PIONEERS FIGHT TO 1-1 DRAW
Junior Blake Nunes found the back of the net off of a cross from freshman Fernando Cabadas in the 90th minute to give the Hornets a 1-1 tie with host Denver in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action on Friday, Oct. 19 at Pioneer Field.
After a scoreless first half that saw the Pioneers post 10 shots to the Hornets one, Denver lit up the scoreboard first, as one second into the 51st minute Kyle Christensen scored off of a feed from Colby Pierce to give Denver a 1-0 advantage.
The game would change in the 86th minute as Pioneer starting ‘keeper Matt Bredehoft collided with a Hornet player on a 50/50 ball, and had to come out of the game. Sacramento State would take advantage, as in the 90th minute with 51 seconds on the clock, Cabadas worked his late minute magic for the second time this season, this time finding Blake Nunes on a picture perfect cross that trickled over the outstretched arms of the Pioneers’ backup ‘keeper Teale Stone and onto an awaiting right foot for the game tying goal.
Sacramento State was able to survive both overtime periods without surrendering a goal, as the Hornets played the last 11:59 of the match a man down after junior Brady Nunes picked up his second yellow card of the contest in the ninth minute of the extra session. The Pioneers outshot the Hornets 6-2 after regulation, and held a 21-6 shot advantage for the contest. Sophomore ‘keeper Ryan Kenny posted three post-regulation saves, and totalled eight for the match.
Kyle Christensen led the Pioneers with four shots, all on goal, while his brother Kellan, Denver’s leading scorer on the season, was held to shots, none on goal. Cabadas posted two shots for the Hornets, while Chris Cosby, Eli Millan, Blake Nunes and Josh Zimbrich added a shot apiece.