Mez scores game-winning header in OT against Cal State Fullerton

Jordan Santos

Sacramento State men’s soccer (3-6-2, 1-1-0 Big West) won in dramatic fashion against Cal State Fullerton (4-5-2, 0-2-0 Big West) at home on Saturday afternoon.

Hornets leading-scorer Chimdum Mez, scored on a goal in the 105th minute to end the match in ovetime. Mez was assisted by senior defender Cody Hoster, who sent a long lob pass into the middle of Fullerton’s box. Mez was able to rise up over his defender and net the ball into the top shelf of the goal.

The game-winning goal will go down as one of the best in Mez’s memorable career. 

“I saw Cody playing it,” Mez said. “I watched my line because I was offsides a few times. It was just a perfect ball going towards the keeper, but fortunately I jumped higher than his [the defender’s] hands and I ended up getting the goal in.”

The victory marks the first win for the Hornets in Big West Conference play.

The match could have gone either way, as both teams took turns attacking the goal and creating set pieces. Fullerton had more shots on goal than the Hornets, 11-5. Fullerton also had more corner kicks than the Hornets, 12-5. 

Hornets goalkeeper, James Del Curto, had a career-game tonight after collecting 10 saves.

Del Curto kept encouraging his teammates and knew that the Hornets have performed well in extra-time all season.

“We were exhausted,” Del Curto stated. “So I was just telling them to keep grinding it out. We’ve been here before. Three or four times this year we’ve been in overtime. So I was just like, ‘Grind it out and we will find a way.’ In the end, Chimmy [Mez] made a great shot.

The game was a true test of each team’s endurance and lasted almost two-and-a-half hours in 93-degree heat.

Head coach Michael Linenberger, was happy with the winning result, but realizes that the road ahead doesn’t get any easier for his team.

“This was vital,” Linenberger said. “It was vital to get a win at home and stay in the conference race. Every game is tough from here on out. 

Next weekend, the Hornets face their toughest test of the season when they go on the road to face Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine. UC Irvine is ranked third overall in the NSCAA Continental Tire Poll. 

Linenberger said that this weekend will be a true test of how good the Hornets are.

“Those two teams [CSU Northridge and UC Irvine] are very good,” Linenberger says. “We know it’s a tough road ahead, but this win was important.”

The Hornets play next 7 p.m. Thursday Oct. 9 at CSU Northridge.