SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State men's soccer team took on their second nationally ranked opponent of the season as they hosted #23 Saint Mary's on Friday afternoon. Despite limiting one of the nation's top scoring teams to just two goals, the Hornets fell to the visiting Gaels, 2-0.
For the second straight match, Sacramento State played a bit more defensive minded as they took on the Saint Mary's Gaels. Ranked 23rd in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer, the Gaels came into Friday's match leading the entire country in scoring, averaging 3.80 goals per game.
They managed just two against a stout Hornets defense. The first goal was scored on a penalty kick, giving the Gaels a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute. After that, Sacramento State silenced the Saint Mary's attack for 65 minutes before a late Gaels' goal in the 85th minute put the game away.
The Hornets created a few opportunities for themselves Friday night, but were unable to convert. At the start of the second half, freshman forward Benji Kikanovic got a nice look on a header in the box but sent the ball just high. Midway through the period, senior forward Brad Bumgarner received a great through ball from Josh Dull. Charging down the near side, Bumgarner drilled a shot just wide across the goal.
A number of other opportunities were cut short before they were able to develop as Saint Mary's picked up multiple key fouls with the Hornets in transition. In addition to leading the nation in goals scored coming into Friday, the Gaels rank fifth in the country in fouls committed per game with 17.5. Against the Hornets, they piled up 19 total fouls.
Sacramento State is now 0-1-1 against nationally ranked teams this season, having tied 1-1 on the road at #22 Portland before Friday's loss. They have also faced two other teams - Cal and Pacific - that have been ranked among the top 25 at some point this season.
Friday's game knocks the Hornets down to 1-4-2 overall on the season. They still have two weeks remaining before the start of Big West conference competition and the remaining non-conference matchups don't get any easier for Sacramento State. They'll next host Gonzaga at Hornet Field on Thursday, Sep. 20 at 3 pm.
More information can always be found by visiting the Men's Soccer 2018 Schedule online at HornetSports.com.