SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After a scoreless first half in which Sacramento State battled Stanford for an even 45 minutes, the Cardinal scored two goals in less than seven minutes early in the second half and shut down the Hornet attack to score a 2-0 exhibition win in front of 608 fans Saturday at Hornet Field.
"The game showed us a lot." Sacramento State head coach Michael Linenberger said. "We had some good moments, especially in the first half. We threatened two or three times in the first half but never really in the second half. We had a lot of youngster on the field for their first taste of action and there were some nerves and speed of play was an issue."
The Hornets starting-11 played the entire first half and kept the match even. Stanford did control tempo early and tested Hornet senior goalkeeper Cesar Castillo, who made two strong saves in the opening minutes as the Cardinal attempted five of the first six shots of the contest.
Senior Isaac Ikyurav had the Hornet's best scoring chances of the night, with his first shot in the 24th minute nearly sneaking in the near post and forcing a save by Cardinal goalkeeper Drew Hutchins. Less than four minutes later Ikyurav had another shot turned away by Hutchins, and on the ensuing corner kick sophomore Chimdum Mez had a header try sail just over the Stanford goal.
Castillo made his third stop in the 30th minute and Sacramento State's final shot attempt of the half would be blocked. The Cardinal held a slim 8-6 overall shot advantage and a 3-2 edge in shots on goal while the Hornets had four corner kicks to just one of the visitors in a highly competitive but scoreless first half.
The Cardinal came out firing early in the second half after Sacramento State made several halftime substitutions. A corner kick from sophomore Aaron Kovar just over three minutes into the second period was headed out by the Hornet defense but found the foot of junior Austin Meyer for a one-time rocket into the Sacramento State goal that gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Less than seven minutes later the Cardinal struck again when junior Zach Batteer found himself open attacking the home goal and beat Sacramento State freshman goalkeeper James Del Curto to double the Stanford lead.
The match became a bit chippy in the ensuing minutes with two yellow cards being issued to each team over a stretch of less than three minutes. Del Curto would record one save following the run of cautions before being replaced in net by redshirt freshman Teddy Sampson in the 69th minute.
The Hornets did not attempt their first shot of the half until the 86th minute and were unable to put a try on frame for the duration of the second period as the Cardinal held on for the 2-0 win.
"We knew Stanford was going to be a good team and put us under pressure and not make it easy for us, and that's what we wanted," Linenberger said. "We got out of it what we wanted and there were some positives but for sure a lot of things we need to be better at."
The team will play one more exhibition game on Tuesday when it hosts Sonoma State at 5 p.m. at Hornet Field.