SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After a narrow 1-0 loss to local USL professional team Sacramento Republic FC last season Sacramento State played the Republic to a 0-0 draw in an exhibition Wednesday at Hornet Field.
The Republic had a 17-4 overall shot advantage but were ahead just 4-2 in shots in goal. Junior goalkeeper James Del Curto made four saves and the Hornet defense limited good scoring chances to end the game in a scoreless draw.
"We knew coming into the game that they would have a majority of the ball so we worked the last two days on trying to stay very compact defensively and make it very difficult for them," Sacramento State head coach Michael Linenberger said. "We tried to make it difficult for them and for the most part we did, especially in the first half. They are better than us and had the majority of the ball but a lot of their shots were from distance."
The Hornets defended well, permitting only a handful of strong scoring chances while also creating a few offensive opportunities going back the other way. The home team acquitted itself well in front of a strong home crowd for a Wednesday afternoon.
"Overall I thought we defended really well. We also tried to catch them on the counter, and I thought we created four or five really good counters," Linenberger said, "At the end we never created a great scoring chance but we had opportunities to create them. We weren't quite sharp enough and not fit enough yet, but I thought it was a really spirited performance from our guys today and we gave them a decent game."
The Hornets permitted just one shot on goal in the first half while placing their only shot of the half on target. Sacramento State had three shots in the second half, including a strong blast from sophomore Josh Dull in the final minutes that was blocked.
Sacramento State forced Republic FC goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek to make a pair of saves and created three corner kicks in the match. The Republic had six corners with Daniel Trickett-Smith leading all players with five shots and Harry Williams placing two of his four shots on goal.
The game was the first of the spring season for Sacramento State, which played Republic FC for the fourth straight year and had an open exhibition with the pro side at home for the second time. The Hornets play five other spring matches over the next two months, including a home game against Notre Dame De Namur and an alumni game.