Sac State soccer defeated by UC Davis, 3-1


Matthew Dyer - The State Hornet

Sacramento State senior goalkeeper James Del Curto became the fifth player in school history to record at least 200 saves despite only becoming the Hornets full-time starter during his junior season.

Will Moon

Sacramento State men’s soccer fell from second to third place in the Big West North conference standings after losing to rival UC Davis 3-1 at Hornet Field on Saturday.

Davis (7-6-2, 3-3-0 Big West) dominated the first half, outshooting Sac State (6-6-2, 2-3-1 Big West) 9-2. The Hornets struggled to make plays on the Aggies’ end of the field, and neither of its first half shot attempts were shots on goal.

The Hornets took another hit early on when senior midfielder Ivan Ramirez, one of the team’s leading scorers this season, suffered a leg injury and exited the game in the fourth minute of play. Despite its offensive struggles, Sac State was able fend off Davis and enter halftime in a scoreless tie.

“I didn’t think we came out with the type of energy that a derby like Sac State versus UC Davis should be and we were lucky to get into halftime (scoreless),” Sac State associate head coach Matt McDougall said.

Davis took the lead in the 49th minute after forward Kristian Heptner headed a cross from midfielder Miguel Acevedo past junior goalkeeper James Del Curto.

Sac State matched Davis’ six shot attempts in the second half, but yielded no results as the Aggies boosted their lead on a goal from junior forward Evan Barrett in the 89th minute.

“Any time you score a goal on the road it’s always a big difference in a game,” UC Davis head coach Dwayne Shaffer said. “We made Sac State have to come and get the game by scoring the first goal and then we were able to stay organized and disciplined and keep them off the scoreboard for the majority of the game.”

The Hornets got on the board with 26 seconds left in the game when senior defender John Quintanilla rebounded a blocked shot into the net, but 14 seconds later, Davis junior defender Kyle Higgins stole the ball from Del Curto and dribbled it into the back of the net to seal the victory.

After Sac State’s second home loss of the season, the team is still in position to play in the Big West conference tournament, but the team’s schedule will not get much easier. The team hosts Cal Poly on Wednesday and will face the Aggies again on Saturday at Davis.

“(We) really need a strong performance on Wednesday,” Del Curto said. “We’re still in the playoffs as of right now so that’ll be a big game because they’ll be (ranking) right behind us.”