Down goes Sac State men’s soccer after a 2-1 loss to UC Davis

The Hornets clinched playoffs even after their loss


Michael Pacheco

LEAD: Junior midfielder Cody Sundquist runs back on defense trying to recover the ball from University of California, Davis’ junior defender Sean Bilter at Hornet Field on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. The Hornets fell to the Aggies 2-1 at home.

Hugo Quintanilla, Men's Soccer Beat Writer

Sacramento State men’s soccer hosted University of California, Davis in their last conference match; the Hornets lost 2-1 to the Aggies. 

“Tale of two halves – really disappointed with our team’s start,” head coach Michael Linenberger said. “Davis got on top of us early” 

The Aggies started the match quickly going on offense to a low energy Hornets side.  

Junior defender Max Glasser opened up the scoring for the Aggies, giving them an early lead after freshman midfielder Lucas Fernandez-Kim found Glasser for the goal.

The Hornets offense responded with two shots, but they were unsuccessful– going over the top of the goal.

The Aggies got another chance inside the box where junior forward Ethan Hoard volleyed the ball into the right side of the goal with an assist from sophomore midfielder Kevin Welch. 

Going down 2-0 in the first half, the Hornets’ playoff dreams felt unreachable. 

The Hornets started the second half with more energy than the first. 

Sophomore defender Bryan Gutierrez gave the Hornets some air when he scored four minutes into the second half. 

“Disappointed we didn’t get the result we wanted,” Gutierrez said. “It felt good in the moment– getting that hope that we could still tie the game.” 

Junior midfielder Christo Cervantes assisted Gutierrez after his run with the ball through the left side. Gutierrez passed it to Cervantes then Cervantes passed it back to Gutierrez inside the box for a bottom-left corner finish.

The Hornets energy was unmatched by the Aggies, but mistakes were made by the visiting team, allowing the Hornets offense to move forward. 

“I thought in the second half, we came out fantastic,” Linenberger said. “But you can’t spot a team like Davis with a two-goal lead and expect to get the results you want.”

The Hornets were unable to find a game-tying second goal.They had seven shots in the second half compared to the Aggies’ two shots.  

With this loss, the Hornets moved down to 9-7-2 overall and 4-5 in the conference. They moved two places down in the Big West standing, going from sixth to eighth.

Even with the loss, they clinched Big West playoffs after CSU Northridge beat CSU Fullerton that put the Hornets into postseason play. 

“It’s a difficult loss to handle,” sophomore forward Dominic Vagaalban said. “All we can hope for now is some results go our way.”

The Hornets will travel to Irvine on Wednesday Nov, 2. where they will face University of California, Irvine in the first round of the Big West Conference playoffs.