Sac State wins causeway matchup 1-0

Christopher Bullock

With three matches left in the season and playoff implications in the balance, the Sacramento State men’s soccer team knew they had a lot to play for on Saturday.

An early first half goal by Sac State redshirt freshman Brad Bumgarner saved the season for the Hornets (6-8-2, 3-4-1 in the Big West Conference), as they beat UC Davis (7-8-2, 3-3-2 in Big West) 1-0 on Saturday at Hornet Field to win their annual Causeway Cup battle.

Sac State fifth-year senior Spencer Thompson, who has attended every home match this season, couldn’t have been more happier with the end result.

“This is what I wanted to see and what I expected,” Thompson said. “We tied them last week and now we took the win at home.”

Save for a close few minutes at the end of the game, Sac State’s defense was fairly aggressive throughout the match. Sac State coach Michael Linenberger noticed the difference in their performance compared to their last matchup on Saturday, Oct. 17.

“We did a lot better dealing with their strengths,” Linenberger said. “I don’t think they had any point blank shots that our goalkeeper had to contest.”

Sac State and UC Davis played keep away for the first seven minutes of the match, each team rallying back and forth to keep one another from scoring. The strategy would backfire for UC Davis, however.

In the eighth minute, Sac State midfielder Cesar Mendoza took a fast break down the field and sent it to Bumgarner, who got the pass on the right side of the box and finished with a low kick to the post for his sixth goal of the season.

With a 1-0 lead, Sac State knew they could not let the match slip away. Their defense, led by sophomore defender Paul Geyer, pressed the Aggies for the remainder of the first half, allowing no shots on goal.

The second half got more heated, as both teams combined for three yellow cards. In the 55th minute, Geyer drew a yellow card that caused the home crowd to shower the referees with boos.

In the last five minutes of the game, UC Davis started to furiously press the Hornets on their side of the field. However, Sac State goalkeeper James Del Curto kept his composure, as he stopped all three of their shots on goal to keep UC Davis scoreless.

After the game, the home crowd celebrated as the Hornets managed to extend their playoff chances for another game.

Geyer expressed how important Saturday’s win was after the game.

“To win this game at home was huge,” Geyer said. “We knew we had our backs against the wall, and we rose to the occasion.”

With the win, Sac State recorded their first shutout against a Big West opponent this season. More importantly, the Hornets moved to one point behind UC Davis for third place in the North division.

With two more conference games left in the season, Sac State must win both games and hope UC Davis wins at least one of their final two games in order to contend for the Big West Tournament.

Sac State’s next game will be against UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, Oct. 28 in Santa Barbara.