Men’s soccer earns 1-0 win against Pacific

Mike McGough

In the team’s last non-conference home game of the season, Sacramento State men’s soccer earned a 1-0 win Friday evening over the University of the Pacific at Hornet Field.

The victory brought the Hornets’ non-conference record to 2-4-1 this season. The Tigers fell to 1-5-0 and have yet to win a road contest.

Sac State coach Michael Linenberger said his team made a preseason commitment to emphasize better quality of play at home.

“We didn’t play great soccer for 90 minutes today,” Linenberger said. “But I certainly thought we competed well for 90 minutes. We found a way to win, and we got the shutout and we took care of our home field.”

The game was just the Hornets’ second home game of the regular season, and marked their first shutout win this year.

“It was a good win,” said Sac State goalkeeper Philip Bru. “It was nice to get our first home win. Our last home game we tied, so it was good today … We didn’t play our best, but we got a win. That’s all we can ask for.”

Redshirt freshman forward Brad Bumgarner scored the game’s only goal in the 69th minute.

With assists from Cesar Mendoza and Bert Corona, Bumgarner hit a low shot from the right side that ricocheted off the arms of Tigers’ goalkeeper Josh Adachi and ended up in the back right corner for the score.

“Again at halftime, Coach Mike, he always stresses [to] just get shots off on goal,” Bumgarner said. “It doesn’t matter, as long as you get a shot off. See what happens, and that’s exactly what I did. I took that shot and, lucky enough, it rebounded off the goalie and trickled in the back of the net.”

It was Bumgarner’s second goal of the season.

The Hornets as a team have scored just eight goals through seven games, attempting an average of 11 shots per game.

Linenberger gave credit to the effort of the opposition.

“I thought UOP did a good job of keeping possession of the ball for good periods of the game today, but I thought we were still organized defensively, and didn’t allow them to get in behind us and create a lot of great chances,” Linenberger said.

Coming off a loss to Grand Canyon University in which Sac State committed 13 fouls, the team tallied just eight against Pacific. The Tigers were called for 18.

It took strong defense from the Hornets to fend off the Tigers, who out-shot the home team by a 13-11 margin.

“Defensively, we dropped off our line a little more,” Bru said. “It was hard for them to go over the top. They just kind of played around their own half. So we just kept them in front of us [as] much as possible, so that was nice today.”

Bru had two saves in the game. The junior made a leaping, one-handed save in the 76th minute off a high header by Pacific player, Tristan Blackmon to prevent the visitors from tying the score.

Bumgarner took five of his team’s shots, and fellow forward Isaac Flores took three with one on goal.

“There are some minor things that we need to fix,” Bumgarner said. “There’s no square balls in the box and in the field, and that’s pretty much it.”

The Hornets have a week off before traveling to face their final non-conference opponent, Saint Mary’s University, at 2 p.m. on Sept. 27. Sac State opens conference play in an away game at CSU Fullerton on Oct. 1 and won’t play at Hornet Field again until Oct. 8 against UC Irvine.