MEN'S SOCCER TO FACE NO. 2 NEW MEXICO, UNLV ON THE ROAD THIS WEEKEND
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State men's soccer team will hit the road for the final time in the regular season with a trip to No. 2 New Mexico and UNLV in a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matchups this weekend.
Men's soccer will visit No. 2 New Mexico and UNLV this weekend.
The Hornets (7-6-1, 3-3-1 MPSF) will face the Lobos (13-0-2, 7-0-0) at 6 p.m. on Friday and meet UNLV (3-11, 2-5) at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The Hornets will be looking to look up a bid to the MPSF tournament as head coach Michael Linenberger's squad is currently in third place with 10 points in the Pacific Division, behind both CSU Bakersfield (15 points) and San Jose State (12). Overall, Sacramento State is fourth in the conference, ahead of Air Force (8), Denver (7), and UNLV (6) in the Mountain Division. The conference tournament features the two division winners plus the next four best teams regardless of division.
New Mexico and UNLV will both offer live stats for the Hornets' road matches. You can find the New Mexico live stats link HERE and the UNLV live stats feed HERE.
Sacramento State has never won (0-4) at New Mexico since moving to Div. I in 1991 and is 4-11-3 all-time against the Lobos. Before playing to a scoreless draw last season, the Hornets knocked off the Lobos twice in 2009 - 1-0 in the regular season and 5-4 in penalty kicks in the MPSF tournament title game. The Hornets are 12-4-2 all-time against UNLV, including 2-0-2 in the last four meetings.
SCOUTING THE HORNETS
Sacramento State is coming off a 2-1 win over Denver and a scoreless draw, their first in conference play, to Air Force last weekend. The Hornets are 1-2 on the road in conference play this season with their 1-0 win at San Jose State coming in their MSPF opener. As a team, Sacramento State has scored 26 goals on exactly 200 shots this season while allowing 23 goals on 239 shots. That includes an 11-0 drubbing of William Jessup during non-conference play. Chris Bettencourt, who scored the eventual game-winner against Denver, has a team-best five goals while Max Alvarez has a team-high four assists. Both Cesar Castillo (1.78 GAA, 49 saves) and Bryan Oliver (1.22 GAA, 15 saves) have played extensively in goal this season but it was Oliver who made both starts in net last weekend.
SCOUTING THE LOBOS
New Mexico is the only undefeated team in the nation and is ranked No. 2 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of American poll, behind just ACC-leader Maryland. The Lobos have scored 35 goals this season while allowing just nine. Blake Smith leads the team with eight scores while Devon Sandoval has a team-best seven assists and also has seven goals. Goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez has started 15 matches with a 0.62 goals against average and 38 saves. Rodriguez has not had to make more than five saves in any of the team's seven conference games.
SCOUTING THE REBELS
UNLV has scored 17 goals on 167 shots this season while allowing 35 scores on 207 shots. The Rebels have held a team scoreless just once all season. They are coming off their second MPSF win of the season, 3-2, over Seattle last Sunday. Salvador Bernal has a team-high six goals while no player has more than three assists. Goalkeeper Ryan Harding has made 13 starts with a 2.35 goals against average and 57 saves.
The Hornets host San Jose State at 2 p.m. on Nov. 5 at Hornet Field for Senior Day and the regular season finale. The game will also be the 10-year reunion for the 2001 MPSF champion team.