SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State closes out the non-conference schedule with a big-time matchup against Causeway rivals UC Davis this Sunday at Hornet Field. The Hornets are 2-1-1 so far this season at home as they look to go into Big West play following a win.
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About Last Week
Sacramento State just wrapped up what was likely the most challenging weekend in all of Div. I men's soccer in 2019, playing on the road at #5 Indiana before returning to California for a road game at #6 Saint Mary's. The Hornets held their own in both matches, especially at the #5 Hoosiers, but fell in both games over the weekend.
Last Friday, Sacramento State held #5 Indiana scoreless for 75 minutes before allowing what proved to be the game-winner to the Hoosiers midway through the second half. Despite being shutout, the Hornets attack - especially in the second half - was excellent, and they gave themselves multiple chances to score but were unable to convert.
Less than 48 hours later, Sacramento State was at #6 Saint Mary's for another difficult matchup. The Hornets kept things close, trailing just 1-0 after 45 minutes, but a red card at the end of the half forced Sacramento State to play a man down and the #6 Gaels took full advantage, scoring three times in the second half.
Last weekend was just the first time all season the Hornets lost back-to-back matches in the same week.
Sacramento State and UC Davis will meet for the 28th time since 1991 this weekend in the first of two Causeway matchups this season. Saturday's match is a designated non-conference contest. They two teams play again to end the regular season in Davis in what will be a Big West Conference matchup.
One Match Week
Saturday's match against UC Davis is the Hornets' only match this week. It is the team's first one-match week of the season. Coincidentally, the team's only other one-match week also features UC Davis, a road contest in Davis on Nov. 2 to end the regular season.
Back At Home
Sacramento State returns to Hornet Field for their non-conference finale. Coming into Saturday, the Hornets have played four of their 10 non-conference matches at home, going 2-1-1.
When playing at home, Sacramento State averages 2.25 goals per game, including a season-high four in a 4-2 win over San Francisco. The Hornets average 14.8 shots at home while allowing just 11.0.
On the road, Sacramento State is 3-3 in six matches, though they average an even 1.00 goal per match.
Around the Far West Region
After back-to-back losses, Sacramento State has fallen out of the Far West Region's top 10 after checking in at number seven last week. The regional ranking was the team's first since being ranked ninth in August of last season.
Sunday's opponent, UC Davis, is ranked 10th in the region after not being ranked last week. In addition to the Aggies, Cal State Fullerton (3), UC Santa Barbara (4), UC Riverside (6), and CSUN (8) all check in among the region's top 10 from the Big West.
Sacramento State leads the Big West Conference in total saves through the season's first five weeks with 54 total saves. Sophomore Ryan Curtis leads the league with 50 total saves, 15 more than the next closest keeper (Paul-Andre Guerin, 35).
Curtis's 10-save match against San Jose State to start the season is tied for most saves in a single match by a Big West player this season.
Sacramento State's 57 corner kicks are most in the Big West so far this season. The Hornets are 11 corner kick ahead of the next team, Cal State Fullerton (47).
The Hornets have been shown a Big West-leading 26 yellow cards through the season's first 10 matches. The majority of those cards - in fact, eight of those cards - came in just one match, Sept. 8 against CSU Bakersfield.
In addition to a league-high 26 yellow cards, the Hornets have also received two red cards.
Hat Trick History
Benji Kikanovic's scored a hat trick in Sacramento State's 4-2 win over San Francisco on Sept. 19. The hat trick was just the fifth in Sacramento State's Div. I era and the first since 2004. Kikanovic joined Jamel Mitchell (twice), Martin Sims, and Ryan Mitchell as the only players in the Div. I era with a hat trick. Jamel Mitchell (1st) and Sims (5th) both rank among the program's all-time leading scorers.
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