MEN'S SOCCER SET TO HOST SAN JOSE STATE IN CONFERENCE OPENER
HORNETS SET TO HOST SAN JOSE STATE IN CONFERENCE OPENER
Sacramento State and San Jose State will look to start the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation season off with a win when the two teams meet on Sunday, Oct. 5. San Jose State (4-1-3) and Sacramento State (5-2-2) both had strong non-conference showings, even though neither was expected to top the conference standings. The Hornets were picked to finish fifth in the preseason conference coaches poll, while the Spartans were picked in a tie for third with UNLV. Those three teams make up the top three spots in the MPSF’s non-conference standings, followed by the two teams who were picked to finish one and two in the conference (New Mexico and Denver).
TEAM ACHIEVES HIGHEST EVER RANKING IN NSCAA POLLS
The Hornets remained in this week’s NSCAA/Adidas Far-West Region top 10 poll at the No. 6 position, after spending a third straight week at the No.7 position. They are currently ranked ahead of MPSF foes New Mexico (7) and San Jose State (8). The ranking is the highest ranking the Hornets have ever achieved. The team has also been ranked for five straight weeks, which surpasses the number of weeks the team has been ranked in the poll previously in program history (3).
TEAM PLAYING ‘TOP RANK’ SOCCER ON THE STAT SHEET
As a team, the Sacramento State Hornets are ranked 19th in the NCAA in team goals against average, allowing just 0.53 goals per game. The team also ranks 20th in shutout percentage (0.56) and ninth in save percentage (0.894).
In individual rankings, senior Blake Nunes ranks 71st in the NCAA in goals per game (0.50), while freshman Bryan Oliver ranks 13th in the nation in save percentage (0.886), 23rd in goals against average (0.592), and 34th in saves per game (4.88).
At the conference level, Oliver leads the MPSF in every goalkeeping category, including goals against average, save percentage, shutouts (4), shutouts per game (0.50), saves (39), and saves per game. Nunes leads the conference in game-winning goals (2), ranks second in the MPSF in shots (33), shots per game (4.12), points (8), points per game (1.0), goals (4) and goals per game, while senior Omar Martinez is the conference leader in assists (3) and assists per game (0.33).
MEN’S SOCCER GRINDS OUT 1-1 TIE AGAINST CAL POLY
Despite playing with only 10 players for the final 31 minutes of the match, the Sacramento State men’s soccer was able to tie Cal Poly, 1-1, on Sunday, Sept. 28 at Hornet Soccer Field.
Cal Poly struck first in the match, as in the 18th minute José Garcia gained possession of the ball at midfield for the Mustangs and sent a through ball to the far sideline to Wes Feighner. Feighner sent a cross to the right foot of David Zamora, who put it in the back of the net to give Cal Poly a 1-0 lead that they’d take into halftime.
The Hornet answer came shortly after intermission, as in the 49th minute senior Josh Zimbrich connected on a perfect through ball to redshirt freshman Chris Bettencourt, who was streaking toward the goal. Mustang defender Patrick Sigler tackled Bettencourt from behind in the penalty area, allowing the Hornets their first penalty kick of the season. Sophomore Fernando Cabadas was called upon to handle the honors, and sent a ball past Eric Franco-Branagan to tie the score at 1-1.
The game changed in the 80th minute as Zimbrich was sent off the pitch with a red card on a tackle of Evan Richter near midfield, which was his second caution of the match, having previously earned a yellow card in the 32nd minute. With Sacramento State down to just ten players for the final 10 minutes of regulation, the team packed in defensively and kept the board clean of Mustang goals to force overtime.
After a scoreless 10 minute overtime session, Cal Poly had a strong chance near the end of the second overtime period go wide, as Sigler received a back post cross that he headed just wide with four seconds remaining, preserving the tie.
CAUSEWAY GOES THE WAY OF NO. 21 UC DAVIS, 1-0
The Sacramento State men’s soccer team fell to the visiting No. 21 ranked UC Davis Aggies in Causeway Cup action, 1-0, on Thursday, Sept. 25 at Hornet Soccer Field.
In a matchup of two evenly-matched teams, the Aggies tallied the only score they need in the game’s 13th minute, as Jake Mogelson gained possession of the ball near midfield and found Paul Marcoux on a perfect lead pass. Marcoux found the back of the net to give the Aggies a 1-0 lead.
Fouls slowed the pace of the game down in the first half, as UC Davis was whistled for 15 first half fouls and one caution, while the Hornets were booked for 13 fouls and four cautions.
The second half of play saw the Hornets have several chances to tie the contest just miss. In the 49th minute, freshman Matthew Tellez had his break away attempt poked away by Aggie ‘keeper Ryan McGowan. Off of the ensuing corner kick, redshirt freshman Chris Bettencourt had a near-post header go just wide. Bettencourt had another strong opportunity in the 66th minute, but his diving header attempt was again just barely past the post.
For the match, the Hornets outshot the Aggies 10-8, but UC Davis was able to put five chances on goal, while Sacramento State only provided two. The teams combined for 39 fouls and six cautions over the 90 minutes of play. Freshman Bryan Oliver collected four saves on the match for the Hornets, while Bettencourt led all players with four shots.