UC Davis will now enter next week's action with a 1-0 record; Sacramento State starts its season with a 0-1 mark.
Including Friday's victory, UC Davis has not lost a Causeway Cup matchup in the last seven years, and has not been defeated at home by the Hornets in the last eight.
"I feel that Sacramento State, no matter when you play them throughout the year, is a game you have to win," said Jern following the match. "Even though they are not in our conference, they are our biggest rivals. Ask any UC Davis person - even one that does not know sports - they know that we have to beat Sacramento State."
As was the case in their exhibition match against Oregon, UC Davis dominated possession throughout the entire match and allowed the Hornets to take only five shots.
Of the 12 UC Davis fired at Hornets goalkeeper Kimberly Mata, it was Hughes' only shot of the day in the 32nd minute that gave the Aggies a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the match.
Senior forward Mary Beth Mazurek originally created the decisive scoring opportunity; after dribbling down the near sideline towards the corner in the Hornets' half of the field, Mazurek found a seam in front of the goal and lifted a cross directed at the far post.
It was then when Hughes made a run from the opposite side towards the Hornets' goal; by beating Mata to Mazurek's pass, Hughes was able to connect with a header that snuck inside the far post to record the only goal of the game.
"We had a couple of great scoring chances early (in the match), I thought Haley scored a great goal with her header," said head coach Maryclaire Robinson
In addition to earning the Aggies' first official goal of the season, Hughes' scored the second of her career.
Compared to the Aggies who were able to take five shots on goal, the Hornets only took one.
Even though Jern recorded her only save on that one Hornet shot on goal, her effort came at a crucial point of the match, as she was able to successfully stifle Sacramento State's only serious scoring opportunity on the day.
Able to secure a rebound when teammate Kassi Anast's header was blocked, Hornet forward Josie Jogwe immediately blasted a shot towards the top of the Aggies' net in an attempt to earn the equalizer.
With only a handful of yards separating Jogwe and Jern, the Aggie 'keeper quickly raised her hands to punch Jogwe's shot over the crossbar.
From that point on, UC Davis won the battle for possession throughout the final 14-plus minutes to capture its first win of the season.
Added Robinson, "What impressed me the most was our ability to with the 1v1 battles. I thought our backs did an excellent job setting the pace of the match, the midfielders worked very hard to secure possession and our forwards ran to make plays. From top to bottom, our team worked hard."