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SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State men's soccer team looks to bounce back after a tough 2-0 loss at home last weekend in the Causeway Classic against UC Davis. They'll have two chances this week as they host the second-place UC Santa Barbara (5-5-4, 3-1-2) and the Cal Poly Mustangs (5-8-1, 1-4-1). The Hornets enter the week third in the North division. This homestand also features the 2017 Senior Day, which will take place on Saturday, October 22. 

Scouting UC Santa Barbara (5-5-4, 3-1-2 Big West)

The Hornets will host the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Wednesday night at Hornet Field, the first of two late-season matchups between these teams. It's been over a year since the Gauchos last came to Sacramento, a match that ended in a 1-0 loss for the Hornets. Their first match, which took place last season in Santa Barbara, resulted in a 1-1 draw.

Historically, Sacramento State has struggled against the Gauchos, going just 4-13-3 all-time. Their last win came during the 2015 season, a thrilling 5-2 route of the perennial powerhouse Gauchos in Sacramento. Since that win, Sacramento State is 0-2-1 in three matches. All three of Sacramento's wins over Santa Barbara have come at home.

After being picked to finish first in the North Division (six first place votes, 28 points), Santa Barbara enters Wednesday's match second in the division behind UC Davis. After winning all three matches against the South Division, Santa Barbara is just 0-1-2 in their last three matches, all against North Division opponents. During that stretch - a loss at UC Davis and a tie against both Irvine and Cal Poly - the Gauchos have scored only one goal. Their 11 points on the season are just one ahead of Sacramento.

Santa Barbara is led by freshman forward Rodney Michael, who leads the team in both goals (five) and assists (four) for a total of 14 points. As a team, they are averaging just 1.07 goals per game, the second fewest in conference.

Quick Facts vs. UC Santa Barbara

  • Wednesday, October 18 at 3:00 pm PT
  • Hornet Field – Sacramento, CA
  • Live Video: Big West TV
  • Live stats: Hornet Stats

Scouting Cal Poly (5-8-1, 1-4-1

Cal Poly travels to Sacramento for the second match of this homestand. It is the second of two games between these two teams. Sacramento State took a thrilling 3-2 double overtime victory from Cal Poly on their last road trip. The Hornets and Mustangs have traded blows in their last four matches, alternating wins and loss.

Sacramento State trails 8-13-3 in the all-time series, though are an even 3-3-3 against Cal Poly at home. In their last five contests against the Mustangs, Sacramento State is 2-3 (1-1 at home).

Cal Poly enters play this week coming off a major match against UC Santa Barbara. The two teams played to a scoreless draw in Santa Barbara, knocking UCSB out of a tie for first place with UC Davis. While the conference season hasn't been kind to the Mustangs, they have played their opponents tough all season. They also played one of the most difficult non-conference schedules of any in the Big West, taking on on #10 Indiana (L, 2-0), #5 Notre Dame (L, 1-0), #15 Georgetown (L, 3-1), and #8 Maryland (L, 1-0) all on the road in closely contested matches. 

The Mustangs are led by their goalkeeper Simon Boehme. The junior from Copenhagen, Denmark, has been busy in goal all season. He is tied for the conference lead in saves with 62, while his .775 save percentage is the best in the Big West.  

Quick Facts vs. Cal Poly

  • Saturday, October 21 at 3:00 pm PT
  • Hornet Field – Sacramento, CA
  • Live Video: Big West TV
  • Live stats: Hornet Stats

About Last Match

The Hornets dropped their last match 2-0 to the visiting UC Davis Aggies last Saturday. The match was a physical one that remained scoreless until Davis broke through in the 61st minute of play. For Sacramento State, Christian Webb led with two shots - both on goal. As a team, though, the Hornets took just six shots in the entire match. The loss broke a three-way tie for first in the North division.

Big West Breakdown

Sacramento State enters the week with a 3-2-1 record in conference play, good for 10 points and third in the North division. They are just one point behind their Wednesday opponent, UC Santa Barbara, who enters the week 3-1-2 (11 points). Atop the division is UC Davis, whose 4-1-1 record gives them 13 points.

With just four matches to play against division opponents, the Hornets still have a shot at the top spot in the division and a guaranteed bye heading into the conference tournament. As it stands now, Sacramento State would start the first round of the tournament on the road.

Postseason Picture

Were the season to end today, the Sacramento State men's soccer team would make the conference tournament for consecutive seasons and the third time in the last four seasons. As the third place team in the north division, they would start the tournament with a road match against the South's second-place team, CSUN. 

With four matches remaining in the regular season - all against North division opponents - there is still too much that can happen. The Hornets can secure their place in the postseason with a win on Saturday over Cal Poly, though they are very much still in the hunt for the top spot in the division and a guaranteed bye in the first round of the tournament with wins over Santa Barbara and/or UC Davis. 

Senior Day

The Sacramento State men's soccer team will recognize their seniors at Saturday's match against Cal Poly. The 2017 squad has just six seniors, one of head coach Mike Linenberger's youngest teams ever.

2017 Men's Soccer seniors: Brad Burkhart, D; Elias Rieland, F; Cylus Sandoval, D; Trevor Jackson, MF; Paul Geyer, MF; James Del Curto, GK

Just Score Two

The Hornets have scored two or more goals in seven of their 14 games this year. In those six matches, they are 6-0-1. Over the last five seasons, Sacramento State is 22-3-1 when scoring two or more goals.


Last Saturday's 2-0 loss was Sacramento State's fifth shutout loss this season and their third at home, matching their total from last season. Three of their five shutouts have come at home.

Climbing the Charts

Senior keeper James Del Curto recorded two saves in the team's last match against Cal Poly, moving him into fourth most saves in program history with 226. Curto has already made 47 saves this season (3.36 per game), putting him on pace for 61 this year and potentially moving him into the third spot for most career saves in Sacramento State men's soccer program history.

The program record is held by current assistant coach Matt McDougall, who recorded 306 saves from 2002-2005.

Goalkeeper Saves - Career
1. Matt McDougall (2002-05) - 306
2. Cesar Castillo (2010-13) - 243
3. Bryan Oliver (2008-12) - 238
4. James Del Curto (2013-pres) - 226
5. Gary Davis (1992-95) - 222

Let Me Assist

Freshman forward Justin Bedig enters play this week with a team-leading six assists on the season. His six assists are the third most in the Big West conference, two behind UC Irvine's Mario Ortiz and three behind the conference leader Daniel Crisostomo (UCI).

With six assists, Bedig ranks among the top five for most assists in a single season in Sacramento State men's soccer program history.

Assists - Single Season
1. Fernando Cabadas (2009) - 9
2. Ernesto Carranza (2010) - 8
    Brandon Cavitt (1995) - 8
    Kevin Beana (1993) - 8
5. Seven tied - 6

Killer Bees

Sacramento State is one of four teams to have two players with double-digit points this year. Both Christian Webb (12 points) and Justin Bedig (10 points) over that mark. UC Santa Barbara and CSUN also have two players with double-digit points while UC Irvine has three.

Give Me Five

Justin Bedig's five-point performance (two goals, one assist) in Sacramento's 4-3 win over Northern Illinois (Orem, Utah) on Sept. 17 remains the highest single-match point total in the Big West this season. Six players - including Christian Webb - have scored four points in a match this season.

For Bedig, his five points is the most for a Sacramento State player since Chris Bettencourt tallied five points nearly a decade ago on Nov. 11, 2010 vs. Air Force.