SACRAMENTO -- Senior Trevor Jackson's beautiful goal to the far post in the 81st minute provided all the fire power Sacramento State would need in a 1-0 victory over Santa Clara in a men's soccer exhibition game Thursday afternoon at Hornet Field.
The game was the first of two home exhibitions Sacramento State will play before beginning the regular season next week against Pacific at home on Aug. 25. The Hornets' second and final exhibition will take place this Sunday vs. San Francisco. In fact, counting both exhibitions, Sacramento State's first four games of the 2017 season will come at home, including a matchup with CSU Bakersfield on Sept. 1.
In a game where the Hornets and Broncos combined to use 47 players (SCU 26, SAC 21), Santa Clara controlled possession the first 10 minutes of the game before Sacramento State worked out the early game jitters and began to play even with a Bronco program that has accounted for 20 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Of the 21 players the Hornets used in today's game, 13 were underclassmen, including eight freshmen and five sophomores. But it was a fifth-year senior that came up large for the Hornets late in the second half. Jackson, who played in all 20 games a year ago, took a pass from Tyler Moss and connected on an incredible left foot strike from a ridiculously tight angle to the far post that found the upper 90.
"Trevor is a fifth year senior and it showed in the second half," Sacramento State 29th year head coach Michael Linenberger said. "He was working hard, getting on the ball, he was creative, and that goal he scored was one in a million. That was a highlight reel goal and I was very happy for him."
Santa Clara held a 13-9 advantage in shots, and had two glorious opportunities to score in the second half but Hornet sophomore keeper Nick Kubler made two incredible saves to keep the game scoreless and set up Jackson's heroics. Kubler played the entire second half in net after senior captain James Del Curto played the first half.
Of Sacramento State's 21 players to appear in today's game, all but one received at least 20 minutes of playing time.
"I thought we started the game poorly - the first 5-10 minutes, we were not ready for a high level, high paced game and Santa Clara really brought it to us," Linenberger said. "However, we hung in there and finally played ourselves into the game. We got out of the first half scoreless, regrouped at halftime and emptied our bench in the second half to allow our young guys to get some valuable minutes.
"There were some early-game nerves for the youngsters, but some played very well for their first outing. All of them found a way to contribute at some point during the game, and that was important."
Sacramento State, coming off a season in which the team was a shootout loss away from reaching the Big West Conference championship game, has 10 freshmen and five sophomores on its 26-man roster.
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