Sacramento State men’s soccer team defeat University of the Pacific 2-0

Goalkeeper Ryan Curtis’ seven saves lead Hornets to shutout win


Marek Corsello/The Beacon

Senior forward Matthew Korpontinos (right) surveys the play as freshman defender Alejandro Padilla (left) defends the play against University of Portland on Monday, Sept.13, 2021. The Hornets picked up their second win of the season Thursday night with a 2-0 victory over University of the Pacific.

Dylan McNeill

Sac State men’s soccer team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-0 road win over University of the Pacific on Thursday. 

After shaky performances as of late, the Hornets’ played aggressive and earned their first shutout victory of the season, improving their record to 2-5.

Sophomore forward Titus Washington scored in the 21st minute for his first goal of the season, while freshman midfielder Axel Ramirez and junior midfielder Oscar Govea both picked up assists on the goal. Once the Hornets got the lead, they never looked back.

The Hornets nearly made it 2-0 in the 44th minute when sophomore forward Christo Cervantes left a chip shot on goal just a little high, and it scurried over the top resulting in a goal kick.

Sac State had another opportunity to add to their lead  in the second half. Sophomore forward Michael Gonzalez  attempted a shot which was saved by Tigers’ senior goalkeeper Eric Cotton. Gonzalez retrieved the ball on the ricochet and had yet another chance to score, though his second shot also soared too high as the lead remained at 1-0. 

The Tigers had their best chance to score late in the second half. Senior midfielder Yazid Omri got an open shot and kicked it just right of the goal. Sac State got the ball back on a goal kick, took the ball right down the field and made it 2-0 on a goal by sophomore forward Eloge Iradukunda in the 86th minute to ice the game for the Hornets. Gonzalez and sophomore forward Francisco Magana each picked up an assist on the goal.

The hero of the game for the Hornets was junior goalkeeper Ryan Curtis. Not only did he pick up his fourth collegiate career shutout, but his seven saves marked a season high for him, including some crucial blocks to maintain the 1-0 lead. The Hornets were outshot in total 11-7 by the Tigers and 7-3 on shots on goal, but it didn’t amount to anything for University of the Pacific with Curtis manning the box.

From the first whistle, the Hornets brought physicality on defense, leaving the Tigers often looking at the referees in disbelief as they continued play. The Hornets tallied up 15 fouls in the game but picked up just two yellow cards, while the Tigers picked up one yellow and a red card in the 89th minute, ejecting the University of the Pacific’s senior midfielder Ryan Her.

The two goals in Thursday’s match was the Hornets’ highest total since Sept. 2, a 3-2 win over San Jose State University.

After the win Sac State returns to action at Hornet Field on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. against Saint Mary’s College. The game is available to stream here.