SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State men's soccer team (1-0-0) hosts its first home matches of the season this week and does so as part of the four-team, two-site Copa de Causeway tournament. The Hornets will host CSU Bakersfield (0-1-0) at 5 p.m. Friday and Seattle (0-2-0) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Hornet Field.
Both visiting teams will also play road matches at UC Davis as part of the tournament, with teams earning three points for a win and one point for a tie. Sacramento State and UC Davis will not face each other until later this season, when they will meet twice during Big West Conference play. Both games this week will also be doubleheaders with the Hornet women's soccer team.
"We started this a couple of years ago as a way to bring two opponents in and have a championship and an all-tournament team as a way to recognize some student-athletes and make it an exciting weekend," Hornet head coach Michael Linenberger said.
The Hornets are coming off a thrilling double-overtime victory at San Jose State in their season opener last Friday. After 102 minutes of scoreless soccer Sacramento State junior Chimdum Mez had a left-footed strike beat the Spartan goalkeeper following a superb feed from freshman Ivan Ramirez to give the visitors an exciting first win of the season.
"The mood of the team was good; obviously a win is always nice," Linenberger said. "Now that school has started the reality has set in to the guys that they are students as well, but the players are excited about the weekend. The regular season home opener and playing against two old conference foes will be fun."
Playing doubleheaders with the Hornet women's soccer team on both Friday and Sunday also adds to the excitement for the home-opening week.
"Its always fun and we get good crowds when both teams are playing back-to-back," Linenberger said. "We play second on Friday and first on Sunday as we try to alternate. It should be a great soccer weekend."
CSU Bakersfield and Seattle both were members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) with Sacramento State from 2009-2011. The Roadrunners and Redhawks are now both members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) as is San José State in men's soccer, as the Hornets play their first three matches of the season against current WAC teams.
Bakersfield was picked to win the WAC in the preseason coaches' poll while garnering five of eight first place votes. The Roadrunners opened their season with a 4-0 loss at Denver last weekend in a game in which they were outshot 24-7 but put five tries on net. The team went 9-5-5 last season and placed first in the MPSF Pacific division. CSUB has won the last three meetings with Sacramento State by a combined score of 11-0, including a 4-0 win last season.
Seattle is 0-2 after losses last week at UMBC, 3-1, and Delaware, 3-2 in overtime. The Redhawks have allowed 43 shots in two games while taking just 18 of their own and have faced 21 shots on goal. Despite the two losses the Redhawks, who were 3-13-1 last season, enter the week tied for the WAC lead with three goals this season. Sacramento State is 4-2-0 all-time against Seattle and will be hosting the Redhawks for a second consecutive season after scoring a 2-0 home win last year.
Friday's match will be a Green Army Game while Sunday will be Sport Chalet Kids Day with free admission for youth with a voucher and a postgame autograph session with the Hornet players. Tickets for both matches are available here.
Copa de Causeway Schedule
Friday, Sept. 6
5:00 PM: CSU Bakersfield at Sacramento State
5:00 PM: Seattle at UC Davis
Sunday, Sept. 8
1:00 PM: Seattle at Sacramento State
5:00 PM: CSU Bakersfield at UC Davis