SACRAMENTO, Calif.- The Cosumnes River men's soccer team opens Big 8 conference play this afternoon when they play host to the Bear Cubs of Santa Rosa JC.  CRC opens Big 8 play following a strong 3-2-4 showing during the preconference season.

The Hawks return home following a split during the team's recent road trip in southern California.  CRC concluded the road trip with a match this past Sunday against Mira Costa, who the Hawks played to a 3-3 draw. 

The Hawks opened up the match on the offensive, playing hard and fast to begin the match, imposing their style of play on their opponent.  "We were switching the ball and finding our weak side open man," said assistant coach Brandon Evangelista.  "We were stretching out their defense and creating good ball movement that saw Alex Herman score the first goal of the game."  Herman connected in the first half for his first goal of the season, putting the Hawks up 1-0.

In the 20th minute, Mira Costa scored their first goal of the match on an unforced error, knotting things up at one.  CRC, visibly flustered after the first score, gave up another quick Mira Costa score to find themselves in a 2-1 hole in the first half.  "(The goal) put the team in a panic, and (we) started doing too much, allowing Mira Costa to take control of the game," said Evangelista.

It wasn't until the 35 minute mark did CRC start taking control of the game, when Isaac McDaniel connected on a penalty kick to tie the match at two goals apiece.  Cosumnes River's McDaniel, pictured right, scored another goal to lead the CRC offensive attack and helped to solidify the team's 3-3 draw with Mira Costa.

CRC opened the weekend against Cuyamaca the day before, and never quite found their rhythm in the match, falling 2-0.  Cuyamaca established the tone early in the match with their physical play, and the Hawks never quite got comfortable on the afternoon.  The loss came on the heels of a 3-1 defeat on the road to Hartnell to open the week.

Cosumnes River enters conference play following victories over Butte, Evergreen Valley and Yuba, all at home during the preconference portion of their schedule.  The Hawks opened the season with draws against Canada and Feather River College.  Santa Rosa enters the match with a 2-2-3 overall record.  The Bear Cubs recorded victories over Skyline and Cabrillo, as well as an impressive 1-1 draw against defending state champions Mt. San Antonio at CRC's Nor Cal Juco Showcase.

Today's match is scheduled for 4 PM.  Tickets are available for $6 for general admission, $4 for seniors, and $2 for children.  Admission is always free for CRC students, staff and faculty.  Concessions will be available to purchase at the event.  Parking permits are available at designated kiosks in the parking lots.