SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Seniors Ivan Ramirez, Alex Bettencourt, and Nate Nugen each tallied a goal and an assist as Sacramento State took an early lead and held on for a 3-2 victory over San José State on Sunday at Hornet Field.
Sacramento State (3-3-0) improved to 2-0 on its home field this season after defeating Portland by a 2-1 score on Thursday. The Hornets tallied five goals in their first two home contests of the year, scoring a season-high three goals in defeating San José State (1-4-1).
The Hornets controlled play for most the game on Sunday, outshooting San José State 21-13 overall and 7-6 in shots on goal. Sacramento State also had an 8-3 edge in corner kicks, including a 5-1 advantage in corners in the second half.
After coming from behind to defeat the Pilots on Thursday Sacramento State was able to play with the lead early in Sunday's contest. Ramirez scored his first goal of the season in the 18th minute, taking a lead pass from Bettencourt and firing a shot inside the far post from 10 yards out.
The Hornets doubled their lead in the 33rd minute. Off a loose ball to the right of the Spartan goal junior Trevor Jackson played a short pass to Nugen, who was wide open in the goal mouth and sent in his second score in as many games.
The lead held until late in the first half, but San José State was able to cut its deficit to 2-1 as Jeremy Romero headed home a corner from teammate Suliman Khorami with just 45 seconds left in the opening period.
Sacramento State quickly got that goal back in the first four minutes of the second half. In the 49th minute Nugen played a ball to the end line left of the Spartan goal and found Ramirez, who had a short dribble towards the left post before sending a chip pass that Bettencourt redirected in from just a few yards out.
Less than six minutes the Spartans would cut their deficit back to one, however, as the Hornets were whistled for a foul in the box and Leonardo Silva converted the penalty kick with a low shot to the right post.
In the 61st minute San Jose State had a shot hit the post, and junior goalkeeper James Del Curto made three saves over the remainder of regulation time to preserve a 3-2 win.
Bettencourt scored the game-winning goal for the second consecutive game and has scored the game winner in each of Sacramento State's three wins this season. Del Curto finished with four saves in the win while San José State keeper Nedin Tucakovic also made four stops.
Ramirez had five shots and Nugen had four with both placing two shots on goal. Sacramento State's senior class, which totals 10 players, has tallied six of the team's seven goals this year and five of its 10 assists.
Sacramento State has two more home games next week to wrap up non-conference play. In the Copa De Causeway the Hornets will host Utah Valley on Thursday and Saint Mary's on Saturday, with UC Davis also hosting both schools in the tournament.