Men go for victory

Defender Oscar Torrico sends the ball across the field in a scrimage during practice.:


Defender Oscar Torrico sends the ball across the field in a scrimage during practice.:

Ronnie Nurss

The Sacramento State men’s soccer team looks to make a push for the NCAA Tournament with only 3 matches left, two of which are at home.

The Hornets, 7-7-2, have had a very successful season said head coach Michael Linenberger.

“We are happy with the season so far,” Linenberger said. “I feel that there was only one game where we played poorly, and that was on the road against UNLV.”

Sac State started the season with a 5-0-1 record. In those first six games, the Hornets allowed only one goal, while scoring nine. The Hornets then hit a mid-season wall with a four game losing streak as they started conference play. Three of those four games where lost by only one goal as the Hornets failed to capitalize on opportunities.

“That was disappointing that we dropped the last four games,” Linenberger said before their recent win at Air Force.

Despite the current mid-season struggles, the Hornets have been working hard to find their winning form during a bye week. Coach Linenberger is focusing on the mental aspect of the players and being optimistic.

“We are watching game film and working on the mental side of the game,” Linenberger said. “Staying focused and working on being consistent.”

“We are trying to persevere, work hard, and not panic,” Linenberger continued. “And we are keeping the confidence high and reflecting back on our accomplishments so far this season.”

The Hornets are also looking to finishing and scoring more timely goals. Linenberger acknowledges that during the four match losing streak, the team has not been keen to getting those lucky breaks.

The men’s soccer team has also maintained good spirit and optimism for the last few games, said Linenberger. The team enjoyed a weekend off thanks to a bye week.

“The bye week has really helped us,” Linenberger said. “With the players coming back, the training has been good and everybody is excited.”

The Hornets are now just taking it one match at a time and believe there is still something to play for, said Linenberger. The team is aiming to finish the season with a winning record.

The Hornets just wrapped up a weekend road trip with matches against Air Force and Denver.

Sac State found its winning form with a 3-0 victory against Air Force on Friday. Freshman midfielder Chris Bettencourt found the back of the net twice and contributed an assist to senior forward Blake Nunes. Junior goal keeper Ryan Kenny also earned his sixth career clean sheet after five saves for the match.

Sac State continued its road trip to Denver, where it fell 1-3 to the first place team of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Denver controlled the match heading into halftime with a 2-0 lead. Sophomore midfielder Fernando Cabadas scored in the 77th minute thanks to an assist from Ernesto Carranza, to make the score the 1-2. Denver erased hopes of a comeback with a third goal in the 84th minute.

The Hornets are now 7-7-2, 2-5-0 in MPSF conference play. Sac State will look to rebound and improve its conference record with two home matches versus New Mexico on Friday and Senior Day against UNLV on Sunday.

Ronnie Nurss can be reached at [email protected]