Men’s soccer wins first game of season against San Jose State

Jordan Santos

Sacramento State men’s soccer won its first game of the season 2-1 against San Jose State on a 102 degree Friday afternoon.

The victory puts the Hornets record at 1-2-1.

The goals came early for the Hornets when in the 22nd minute, freshman Cylus Sandoval grabbed his first goal of the season on a low shot to the far post. Fellow freshman Elias Rieland set up Sandoval by way of a beautiful slip pass inside the right half of the box.

Sandoval and Rieland’s play was a prime example of how good the Hornet’s can potentially be. Especially because of how many of their main contributors are lower-classmen.

“I mean I felt great,” said Sandoval. “First win at home in a while. It definitely lifts our spirits and everything going into these next few games. That’s what we’ve been working on all preseason and our first few games here, just trying to get a win and score some goals. I know that was a problem last year and I’m just glad to be here to contribute to the goals we score.”

Heading into the second half, the Hornets held a 1-0 lead over the Spartans.

However, the halftime deficit didn’t phase San Jose and they answered back in the 54th minute to tie the game after forward Greg Harte connected on a diving header.

Luckily, the score only remained tied for four minutes.

In the 58th minute of regulation, senior forward Chimdum Mez scored the game-winning goal after connecting passes from Fernando Ochoa and Ivan Ramirez gave Mez a straight-ahead shot at the goal. Mez hit a low ball right that escaped past the keeper’s grasp.

Being a senior and the leading goal-scorer for the Hornets, Mez has seen quite a progression from his team.

Mez described the win by saying, “It feels great. It means the team is moving in the right direction and we just need to continue to win.”

One of the biggest impacts on the game might have been the heat. Players on both sides were cramping up and fatiguing early due to the blistering temperature.

Sacramento State head coach Michael Linenberger talked about the game and the heat.

“The first win is always important and winning at home is important to give us a little confidence,” said Linenberger. “I didn’t think we played great soccer today; the weather and the heat was tremendous for both teams and I think it really slowed the game down and made things difficult. I thought we showed some mental toughness to persevere through it.”

The key stat in this game was how many shots were on target compared to overall shots attempted. The Hornets had a remarkable seven shots on target out of eight. The Spartans only had four shots on target out of 14 attempts.

The Hornets will look for their second win of the season at home this Sunday against Cleveland State at 1 p.m. Cleveland State fell to 2-3-0 on the season after a 6-1 loss against No. 18 California on Friday.