SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After starting the season with two matches on the road, Sacramento State won its home opener Friday, shutting out 25th-ranked Air Force, 2-0.
With the win, Sacramento State improves to 3-0 while the Falcons fall to 1-1.
The 3-0 start is the first in the Div. I era of Hornet men's soccer (1991-pres.) and the first such start under head coach Mike Linenberger.
"It's fantastic," Linenberger said. "The mood around the team is really great, but we're also trying to make sure we keep our feet on the ground, and keep working hard."
The hard work was on display Friday as the Hornets upset the nationally-ranked Falcons, 2-0.
The action got started late in the first half as Sacramento State forced the action and took advantage of an Air Force mistake deep in its own territory.
Arath Chavez was charging hard on a ball played back toward the Air Force goal. Under pressure, the defender played a header back to his keeper while at the same time, the keeper rushed forward to secure the ball.
The result was a loose header that bounced backward past the keeper and toward the open net. Chavez, continuing to charge, drove the ball into the back of the open net for what proved to be the game-winning goal. It was his first of the year.
After the half, the Hornets continued to attack, and in the 54th minute, Oscar Govea found Christian Guzman in the left side of the box. After a touch to get his defender to overcommit, Guzman punched one into the left side past the diving keeper.
For Guzman, the goal was his first of the year. The assist was also the first of the year for Govea, who now leads the team with five total points this season (two goals, one assist).
"I was happy with our performance today, I thought we played well" said Linenberger after the win. "We were fortunate with our first goal, but at halftime we talked about going back out there and getting number two and I was proud of our guys for doing just that."
The win is Sacramento State's third to start the year and its second shutout.
Sophomore keeper Ryan Curtis made four saves in the effort and the Hornet defense limited the Air Force attack.
In total, Air Force, which came into the match ranked 25th in the nation, managed just eight shots, placing four of them on frame. The Hornets took 12 total shots, six of them on goal.
Friday was the beginning of the annual Copa de Causeway, a four-team tournament hosted by both Sacramento State and UC Davis.
Air Force will now switch places with CSU Bakersfield, who fell Friday night at UC Davis. The Roadrunners will travel up the Causeway to Hornet Field to face Sacramento State on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Sunday is also Kids Day at Hornet Field, where fans 12 and under are free, the first 300 fans will receive a team poster giveaway, and the team will be signing autographs after the match.
A full week of soccer starts tomorrow and ends with KIDS DAY with @sacstatewsoccer and @sacstatemsoccer on Sunday!— Hornet Athletics (@hornetsports) September 4, 2019
�� Free admission 12 and under
�� Team Posters giveaway
�� Autographs after each game#StingersUp #KidsDay #Giveaway ⚽️�� pic.twitter.com/Dzh2ZGz6Op
Details on how to follow the match, including links to tickets, video streams, live stats, and more, can all be found online on the Sacramento State Men's Soccer Schedule at HornetSports.com.