Men’s soccer earns 1-1 tie on late goal in first home game

Mike McGough

Sacramento State’s men’s soccer team (0-3-1) snapped their three-game losing streak with a 1-1 tie in the Hornets’ home opener against CSU Bakersfield on Sunday afternoon.

Midfielder Paul Geyer had the lone goal for the Hornets in the 85th minute after Bakersfield had taken a 1-0 lead midway through the second half.

“There was no skill involved in that,” Geyer said. “That was just being there, lucky, at the right time at the right place.”

Defender Fernando Ochoa and forward Isaac Flores each had an assist on the goal. The shot came following a 25-yard free kick after Mario Iniguez picked up a yellow card for Bakersfield.

Forward Christian Duarte scored the Roadrunners’ only goal in the 62nd minute. Sac State coach Michael Linenberger said the Hornets did well to respond.

“It was an interesting game,” Linenberger said. “A lot of ebbs and flows, I thought they controlled the game for good periods. I thought we controlled the game for periods as well. I thought we had a tremendous response after they went up 1-0. [We] found the equalizer and then I thought we had the better chances afterwards as well.”

The game went 110 minutes, with two full overtime periods.

Sac State had numerous near misses between Duarte’s goal and Geyer’s score. Bakersfield outshot the Hornets 19-13 overall and 11-2 in the first half.

Forward Brad Bumgarner had a shot roll wide left by the smallest of margins in the 70th minute.

“I got a shot off with my right, then it just kept spinning and then just went right past that far post,” Bumgarner said.

Bumgarner, who dealt with injuries last year and this preseason, said Sunday was his first game playing a full 90 minutes. He played both overtime periods as well before being replaced due to cramps.

The Hornets had several opportunities to win the game, including when Ochoa narrowly missed the final shot of the game with 30 seconds left in double overtime.

At the end of the game, the Roadrunners had 11 corner kicks to Sac State’s three. The Hornets committed 14 fouls while the visitors had just six.

“We still have a relatively young team, and we’ve been talking through the entire preseason and the early part of the regular season here that we have not had good responses in key moments of the game, and that we’ve got to be more mature, more professional,” Linenberger said.

Last season, the Roadrunners defeated the Hornets 5-0 at Bakersfield on Sept. 28, 2014.

“Bakersfield is a very good team, last year they killed us and this was just a lot-of-fun game,” Geyer said. “Both teams were going at it … We should have had the win, we had many chances. We didn’t put them away, but that happens in games. Sometimes you make them, sometimes you don’t.”

Sac State will face University of the Incarnate Word on Friday night in Phoenix.