IRVINE, Calif. – The Sacramento State men's soccer team took on the UC Irvine Anteaters Saturday night in their first road Big West match of the season. An aggressive 'Eaters offense put the Hornets on their heels almost immediately and Sacramento State never fully recovered, ultimately falling 2-0 on the road.
Sacramento State (3-7-2, 1-1 Big West) came into Saturday night's match looking for their first 2-0 Big West start since 2012, their first year in the league. Instead, it was UC Irvine (8-4-1, 2-0-0 Big West) moving to 2-0 in conference play, the only team to do so this year.
The Anteaters piled up 14 shots in the first half, including eight on goal. Under pressure, freshman keeper Ryan Curtis made an impressive seven saves in the first 45 minutes, including one on a UC Irvine penalty kick. Despite that, the 'Eaters broke through in the 22nd minute for what turned out to be the game-winner.
Curtis would end the match with eight total saves, a new career-high. He faced 20 total shots, including 10 on goal.
Sacramento State took five shots in the first half, including three by Benji Kikanovic, but were unable to find the back of the goal.
The second half was more balanced than the first, though UC Irvine still outshot the Hornets 7-5 in the second 45. The 'Eaters added an insurance goal in the 76th minute. In total, UC Irvine took 21 shots Saturday night, placing 10 on goal.
The Hornets had 10 shots in the match, placing six of them on goal. Oscar Govea led Sacramento State with four total shots – all in the second half – including three on goal. Kikanovic wasn't far behind, placing one of his three shots on frame.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 3-7-2 overall and 1-1 in Big West play. The Anteaters improve to 8-4-1 while climbing to 2-0 in league play. They are the only undefeated team after the first week of conference play.
Sacramento State will return home as they host the CSUN Matadors on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 3:30 pm at Hornet Field. More information can always be found by visiting the Men's Soccer 2018 Schedule online at HornetSports.com.