MEN'S SOCCER OPENS MPSF TOURNAMENT AGAINST SJSU ON THURSDAY IN DENVER
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State men's soccer team will look to defend its title when it opens up the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament with a quarterfinal match against San Jose State at 4 p.m. on Thursday in Denver, Colo.
The Hornets raised the trophy at home last season after winning the MPSF Tournament.
The No. 4 seeded Hornets (9-7-2, 5-4-1 MSPF) defeated No. 5 seed San Jose State (8-7-3, 5-5-0) twice during the regular season - 1-0 in San Jose and 3-2 in overtime at home in the regular season finale.
Host Denver is the No. 6 seed and faces No. 3 seed Air Force in the second quarterfinal game on Thursday. No. 1 seed New Mexico and No. 2 seed CSU Bakersfield received byes. New Mexico will face the highest remaining seed in the semifinals on Friday while CSU Bakersfield gets the other quarterfinal winner.
Sacramento State has won back-to-back MPSF Tournament titles and consecutive NCAA Tournament first round matches.
* A complete set of game notes in PDF format can be downloaded by clicking the link above the photo.
LIVE VIDEO/LIVE STATS
Live video will be offered by Denver but for a $8.95 fee. Live stats of the match are free and links to both can be found at the MPSF Tournament Central page on Denver's athletics Web site HERE.
BETTENCOURT KEYS 2010 TOURNAMENT TITLE
En route to the MPSF Tournament title last season, Chris Bettencourt, who was named tournament MVP, scored four goals and tallied one assists in three games during the tournament last season. He scored two goals and had an assist in a 6-2 quarterfinal win over Air Force, another goal in the 3-1 semifinal win over Air Force and his fourth in the title match, a 2-1 win over CSU Bakersfield.
SACRAMENTO STATE ALL-MPSF SELECTIONS
Chris Bettencourt was a first team all-conference selection while Alex Lopez and Max Alvarez were named second team all-MPSF. Adam Bettencourt and Casey Bernard were honorable mentions.
BETTENCOURT LEADS THE WAY
Chris Bettencourt had a team-high seven goals this season after posting 11 goals last year, the second most in school history. Bettencourt’s 18 points this season paced the team as well after setting a school record with 27 points last season.
SILVEIRA OUT FOR SEASON
Starting midfielder Gabriel Silveira went down with a foot injury in the Oct. 14 contest at CSU Bakersfield and is out for the season. The sophomore had one goal and one assist in 11 starts before going down.
HORNETS AGAINST RANKED FOES
Sacramento State has played five ranked opponents this season with a 1-4 record in those games. The Hornets opened up the season with a 1-0 overtime victory at No. 19 ranked Loyola Marymount in the season opener before losing to No. 8 UC Santa Barbara, No. 25 CSU Bakersfield, No. 19 CSU Bakersfield and No. 2 New Mexico.
TRANSFERS MAKING AN IMPACT
Sacramento State had four transfers this season that saw considerable playing time. Alex Lopez, a transfer from Vanguard University, played in 16 games and made 10 starts before being named second team all-MPSF. Casey Bernard, a transfer from American River College, made 16 starts on the backline and was an MPSF honorable mention selection. Isaac Ikyurav, a sophomore from American University in Nigeria, tied for third on the team with three goals and also had an assist. Eric Amato posted two goals and two assists this season after coming from Western Ontario University on a study abroad transfer.
A STREAK FREE SEASON
Sacramento State did not win or lose more than two games in a row this season. The Hornets won two consecutive home games over San Francisco and William Jessup early in the year and won two more to close out the season at UNLV and versus San Jose State. Sacramento State lost back-to-back road games to CSU Bakersfield and Seattle U. Other than those three occasions, the Hornets have alternated wins, losses and draws throughout the year.
OLIVER FINISHES STRONG
Since securing the starting goalkeeper job on Oct. 21 in a 2-1 win versus Denver, junior Bryan Oliver has allowed five goals in five games and made 24 saves with two shutouts. Oliver started 10 games during the 2009 season but sat out last year to redshirt as freshman Cesar Castillo earned Goal.com Freshman All-America honors after a solid 2010 season. This year Castillo has started one more game than Oliver after owning the job early in the year, but its been Oliver who has posted a far better goals against average in only 13 fewer minutes of playing time.