SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State men's soccer team (3-9-3, 1-6-0 Big West) looks to build off its 1-0 win over UC Davis last weekend as the Hornets play their final road match of the regular season at Cal Poly (9-6-2, 2-3-2 Big West) Saturday night at 7 p.m.
With their win over the Aggies last weekend the Hornets moved to within four points of UC Davis in the Big West standings. Sacramento State is just five points behind Cal Poly as well as the three teams battle for two spots in the Big West Tournament. With three matches remaining, Sacramento State has positioned itself to control its own destiny, and a win Saturday would go a long way towards the team qualifying to play postseason Big West soccer for the first time.
It will be the second meeting between the Mustangs and Hornets this season after Cal Poly scored a 2-1 win in Sacramento on Oct. 19. Mustang senior forward Mackenzie Pridham, who leads the Big West and is tied for second in the nation with 12 goals this season, scored twice in the first meeting between the teams while freshman Andrew Gosselin scored his first career goal for the Hornets to level the match at 1-1.
Pridham struck for the game winner in the 79th minute two weeks ago, and the Mustangs will be looking for a little retribution on Saturday in San Luis Obispo,
"We feel like there's a little chip on our shoulder going back to that game since they got the late winner," Hornet senior goalkeeper Cesar Castillo said. "Going down there at Cal Poly will be a big game. I feel like the team is really going off some good momentum after the Davis win, but we can't just be happy with that."
Castillo made seven saves for his fourth shutout of the season in the Hornets win over their causeway rival, keeping the Aggies scoreless despite facing heavy fire throughout the second half. He ranks fourth in the NCAA with 6.00 saves per game this season, and his strong play along with the Sacramento State back line helped the Hornets earn their first Big West win of the season.
"It felt really good to get our first conference win, especially against our big rival at Davis." Castillo said. "We've got a little more confidence off that win and we definitely have some momentum going to Cal Poly this weekend."
Isaac Ikyurav's miraculous goal against the Aggies gave Sacramento State the only score it needed in the win. The Hornets have scored a goal in a season-best three consecutive matches and the squad has scored in four Big West games.
Sacramento State has yet to record a match with multiple goals this season, and has not done so in 17 consecutive matches dating back to last year. The last time the Hornets scored multiple goals in a match was Oct. 27, 2012 in a 3-2 win at Cal Poly, as the squad will be looking for more success under the lights in San Luis Obispo on Saturday.
The Mustangs have recorded consecutive 1-1 ties against UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis since facing the Hornets. Cal Poly still leads the NCAA in goals this season, with its total now at 37, but the team has scored only five goals in its last six contests. The squad is 5-2-2 at home this season with its average attendance over nine home dates at 2,879.
Fans can watch Saturday's match via the above link.