Sac State men’s soccer suffers 1-0 loss to UC Irvine

Another loss for the Hornets after conceding an early second half goal


UC Irvine Athletics/Derek Blalock.

Sac State junior forward Austin Wehner battling for possession against UC Irvine Saturday, Oct. 7, 2022, at Bren Events Center. The Sacramento State Hornets found themselves on the road suffering a 1-0 loss to the Anteaters.

Hugo Quintanilla, Men's Soccer Beat Writer

The Sacramento State Hornets found themselves on the road facing University of California, Irvine Anteaters in a 1-0 loss. 

RELATED: Sac State men’s soccer beats UC Irvine for first home win of the season

The Anteaters started the match dominating over the Hornets. The Hornets were off to a very slow start, finding themselves running behind the ball as the Anteaters were applying a lot of pressure. 

The Hornets sophomore forward Dominic Vagaalban was subbed in to try and give the Hornets offense more energy. Vagaalban made his comeback into the lineup for the first time since last playing against Saint Mary’s on Sept. 1.  

“I felt great gettin back into the lineup,” Vagaalban said. “Playing with the boys again — I really missed that it’s definitely a feeling nothing can compare to.”

Even after making changes, the Hornets were unable to find the goal. 

With nine shots the Anteaters were seeking a goal to take the lead in the first half, but sophomore goalkeeper Mac Learned was not letting anything in making two saves.  

One of Learned’s crucial saves came in the 32nd minute of the match, when senior midfielder Ashish Chattha found himself in front of the goal to send a shot near bottom right, with Learned making a swift dive to save.  

“I felt good as long as I can do my part and try and hold it down for us,” Learned said. 

The Hornets found themselves in a very tight spot as they struggled to move forward. They only had one shot in the first half. 

The first half ended scoreless at 0-0. 

Coming into the second half, the Anteaters brought the same intensity and the Hornets were yet to find their rhythm. 

In the 53rd minute of the second half, Chattha was able to give the Anteaters a 1-0 lead, scoring off a through ball assist from redshirt sophomore Mario Anaya. 

As the game continued, the Hornets were behind and unable to find a shot on goal for 78 minutes. The Hornets ended the game with seven shots and two on target saved by the Anteaters sophomore goalkeeper Luke Pruter. The Anteaters had a total of 16 shots and four on goal, three of which Learned saved.  

“We weren’t sharp again,” head coach Michael Linenberger said. “It’s been two games in a row that we’ve been way off our best.” 

The Hornets fell to 6-5-2 overall and to 1-3 in The Big West conference. They will host University of California, Santa Barbara at the Hornet Field on Oct, 12. At 3 p.m.