Hornets Rally to Force 3-3 Draw

Jordan Santos

The Sacramento State men’s soccer team (0-1-1) tied the University of San Diego Toreros (1-0-2) in a riveting match Friday afternoon that came down to a last-minute goal and twenty minutes of overtime.

The Toreros struck the net first in the 11th minute when Connor Brandt scored on a brilliant lead pass from Dave Musambi. Brandt hit the ball from ten yards out and into the far side of the goal to give USD an early 1-0 lead.

However, the theme of the night was the Hornets persevering through deficits, lack of possession and fewer shots on goal.

“We need to do a better job keeping the ball,” said head coach Michael Linenberger. “We need to do a better job connecting passes forward, because all of our connections were backwards and sideways.”

The Hornets countered the Toreros in the 26th minute when senior forward Chimdum Mez broke away from the pack and scored off of a turnover to tie the game 1-1. Mez rifled the ball with only the goalkeeper in front of him from 20 yards out into the left side of the goal.

Brandt and Musambi would prove to be the dynamic duo for the Toreros after they teamed up again in the 50th minute to give USD a 2-1 advantage. Musambi pushed the ball and directed a short cross in the box to Brandt, who was able to squeeze the ball to the right of Hornet’s keeper Phillip Bru.

The Hornets tied the game yet again in the 82nd minute, when Andres Garcia scored off of a header to make the score 2-2. Garcia was able to score on an empty net after Hornet defender Preston Davis had a shot on goal blocked by Toreros goalkeeper Thomas Olsen.

“Something that I am proud of is our team’s work ethic,” Mez said. “To go down three times in a game is tough, especially mentally and physically. Just the fact that nobody gave up and we just kept on coming at them still looking for that winning goal, I think that is a great thing to have in the beginning of the season.”

The next eight minutes of regulation would prove to be one of the most exciting moments in Hornets soccer history.

Four minutes after the Hornets tied the game, the Toreros took the lead for the third time of the night after forward Torrey DeArmas fired a chip shot into the net to make the score 3-2.

The Hornets were able to fight back in the final minute of regulation. Freshman forward Devante Raynor sent the game into overtime when he headed in a cross from Javier Munoz. The goal sent the crowd on their feet and the game into twenty minutes of extra time.

Both teams struggled to get a shot off in overtime and the game ended in a draw.

“Everyone on the team needs to stay all together on one page, and that’s how we will stop those opponents from getting those goals,” Raynor said.

The key stat of the game was shots on goal. USD had twelve shots on goal but only scored on three of those attempts. The Hornets took advantage of every good opportunity they had as they scored on all three of their shots on goal.

“This ended up being a very good tie for us, and if we can keep this kind of mentality and heart, I think this team can have a bright future,” Linenberger said.

The Hornets will have their third game of the season at Hornet Field this Sunday when they face Loyola Marymount at 2:30 p.m.