The State Hornet

Men’s Soccer looks to prove age is nothing but a number

Linenberger keeps formula the same in 30th season

Sacramento+State+senior+forward+Brad+Bumgarner+tries+to+dribble+the+ball+past+Joseph+Kay+of+San+Jose+State+to+go+towards+the+goal.+The+Hornets+lost+their+first+home+match+2-1+against+San+Jose+State+on+Sept.+2+at+Hornet+Field.
Sacramento State senior forward Brad Bumgarner tries to dribble the ball past Joseph Kay of San Jose State to go towards the goal. The Hornets lost their first home match 2-1 against San Jose State on Sept. 2 at Hornet Field.

Sacramento State senior forward Brad Bumgarner tries to dribble the ball past Joseph Kay of San Jose State to go towards the goal. The Hornets lost their first home match 2-1 against San Jose State on Sept. 2 at Hornet Field.

Jose Gaglianone - The State Hornet

Jose Gaglianone - The State Hornet

Sacramento State senior forward Brad Bumgarner tries to dribble the ball past Joseph Kay of San Jose State to go towards the goal. The Hornets lost their first home match 2-1 against San Jose State on Sept. 2 at Hornet Field.

Keith Jouganatos

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Sacramento State head coach Michael Linenberger understands fully well his men’s soccer team is not the oldest or the most experienced, but that does not concern him heading into the 2018 season.

Linenberger says that because he has several new players, he knows this year’s team compared to last year’s is a totally different game on the pitch, literally and figuratively.

“It’s about not goofing off, practicing with a focus, and going to class off the field with a focus,” said Lindenberger. “This is a very talented group of guys and you just have to mold them into understanding that there are no easy shortcuts to success at the Division one soccer level.”

He also said developing young players can be a test at times, and that one false move could ruin a roster member’s confidence, and one push of the right button can help them develop quickly and allow them to adjust with ease.

In his 30th season as head coach at Sac State, Linenberger has seen every kind of team possible. Yet the formula is the same for him: work hard, study hard, and most importantly show up on time.

“A lot of these guys come from a background in club soccer for years and they get used to taking games off and not giving the same energy everytime they step on the pitch, at this level you can not get away with that and be successful.”

After finishing last season with an 8-9-2 record and ending the year with a 3-2 overtime loss to California State University, Northridge in the Big Sky Tournament Quarterfinals, the Hornets lost numerous experienced and polished players from the roster.

This season, they will suit up less than 10 returning juniors and seniors on the roster with a slew of incoming talent.

Yet the team has not looked at this newfound youth as a bad thing and the optimism is still at an all-time peak.

Senior forward Brad Bumgarner said that while there has been a definite shift into a new, young crop of fresh players, the same goals and aspirations the team always has year after year has not changed since then.

“We want to get to the Big Sky Tournament and win and we feel with this group we are definitely capable of doing just that,” Bumgarner said. “As seniors and upperclassmen, we know part of our job is going to be showing these new guys the way things work and how to approach every day at practice or on game days for us to have the best chances of being successful.”

They traveled to face No. 22 ranked University of Portland on Aug. 24 and walked off the pitch with a 1-1 draw after playing through regulation and two overtimes.

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