Men’s soccer wins four all-Big West awards

State Hornet Staff

The Sacramento State men’s soccer team capped off a historic regular season by winning four all-Big West awards on Friday, which is the most the team has won since joining the conference three years ago.

Coach Michael Linenberger was awarded Big West Coach of the Year, senior Chimdum Mez was selected to all-Big West first team, Andrew Gosselin was named all-Big West honorable mention and Paul Geyer was selected to the all-Freshman team.

In his 26th season as coach, Linenberger collected his fourth Coach of the Year honor after earning the award three times in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Linenberger guided the Hornets to a three-win improvement in Big West Conference play after the Hornets finished last in the division the previous year and were selected to finish last in the division in this year’s preseason coaches’ poll.

Under Linenberger’s guidance, the Hornets are headed to their first Big West Tournament appearance when they face UC Irvine on the road on Saturday. The Hornets were able to make the playoffs after two late road wins against Cal Poly and UC Davis.

Linenberger remained humble when receiving his award and credits his success to the people he works with.

“I feel the credit for my award goes to all the hard work my staff has put into this year,” Linenberger said. “Also, credit to my players for finding a way to get results on the road down the stretch of the season. I am very happy for Chimdum. He has worked very hard over the last five years and he has had a great year. I am also happy for Andrew Gosselin and Paul Geyer for the recognition they received.”

Mez became only the second player in program history to be selected to the all-Big West first team, joining Matt Linenberger who was selected in 2012. Mez is tied for third in the Big West with seven goals. Four of those seven goals were game-winning scores, which is a testament to Mez’s clutch play throughout the season.

“It feels good just knowing how far I came since my freshman year,” Mez said. “So, it feels good getting recognized for all the hard work I put in over the years.”

Gosselin was an all-Big West freshman team selection last year and continued his trend of success this year. He missed six games due to injury but managed to start 12 of the 13 games he played in while averaging more than 86 minutes per game.

Gosselin was a key factor to the Hornets making the playoffs because of his play late in the season. He scored two goals, including the overtime game-winning goal, against UC Davis to guide the Hornets to a 3-2 win.

Geyer missed the first five games of the season due to injury, but was able to start in all ten conference games as a center midfielder. He played at least 85 minutes in every Big West game and was responsible with creating offensive chances for the Hornets while at the same time preventing the opposing team from creating offensive plays. Geyer scored his first career goal in the Hornets’ overtime win against UC Davis.

The Hornets play their first Big West Tournament game tomorrow on the road against UC Irvine, who were ranked No. 2 in the country at one point during the season.