MEN'S SOCCER PLAYS DENVER, AIR FORCE IN PAIR OF MPSF HOME MATCHES THIS WEEKEND
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State men's soccer team will be battling for postseason tournament seeding against Denver and Air Force in a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games this weekend at Hornet Field.
The Hornets' games this weekend feature major postseason tournament implications.
The Hornets (6-6-1, 2-3-0) will play host to Denver (4-6-3, 2-2-1) at 4 p.m. on Friday before playing Air Force (7-5-1, 1-3-1) at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Sacramento State is currently third in the four-team Pacific Division of the MPSF with six points. In the four-team Mountain Division, Denver is second with seven points and Air Force is third with four points.
New Mexico (15 points) is the clear leader of the Mountain Division with an undefeated 5-0 league record while CSU Bakersfield (12 points) leads the Pacific Division. San Jose State (nine points) is ahead of the Hornets in second in the Pacific Division while Seattle is fourth with three points. UNLV is last in the Mountain with three points as well.
The MPSF Tournament will be hosted by Denver, last season's regular season champion, and features the two division winners and the next four best teams, regardless of division.
Saramento State has historically struggled against Denver. The Hornets are 5-12-3 all-time against the Pioneers but has gone 1-0-1 in their last two meetings. The Hornets have been much better against Air Force, going 12-11-0 all-time against the Falcons, including 3-1 in the last four meetings.
SCOUTING THE HORNETS
Sacramento State dropped both games last weekend at CSU Bakersfield and Seattle. The Hornets have been shutout four times in their last six games and have scored just three goals in that stretch. Max Alvarez and Chris Bettencourt are tied for the team lead with four goals each while Alvarez has a team-best three assists as well. The Hornets have had a remarkable 14 different players score goals this season as they have accumulated 24 total scores in 13 games. That figure includes an 11-0 win over William Jessup earlier in the season. Sacramento State has used three keepers this season but Cesar Castillo has played the majority of minutes with nine starts. He has a 1.78 goals against average and 49 saves this season.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
Denver split its two games last weekend. The Pioneers lost, 6-0 ,at No. 6 New Mexico on Friday but rebounded with a 5-4 double overtime win against UNLV. Christian Volesky leads the team with five goals while Jarod Stigall has a team-best five assists. Denver has 28 assists on 23 goals this season while allowing 21 total goals. The Pioneers have used two keepers this season. Mate Aguirre has a 1.64 goals against average with 30 saves in seven starts while Oliver Brown also has a 1.64 goals against average with 16 saves in five starts.
SCOUTING THE FALCONS
Air Force defeated UNLV, 4-0, on Friday before losing 1-0 to No. 6 New Mexico on Sunday in its games last weekend. The Falcons are led offensively by Garrett Getschow, who has a team-high seven goals. Three other players have each scored five goals as Air Force has outscored its opponenets 27-16 on the season. Kevin Durr leads the team with seven assists. Matt Underwood has played every minute in goal for the Falcons. He has a 1.21 goals against average with 55 saves and two shutouts this year.
THIS WEEKEND IN THE BIG SKY
No. 5 ranked New Mexico visits No. 22 ranked CSU Bakersfield on Friday in a clash of division leaders. The Lobos also visit Seattle while UNLV will also play the Roadrunners and Redhawks. Denver and Air Force will play San Jose State in addition to the Hornets this weekend.
Sacramento State will travel to New Mexico and UNLV next weekend.