Men’s soccer earns first win of season

Christopher Bullock

The Sacramento State men’s soccer team notched its first win of the year, a 2-1 victory over the University of Incarnate Word on Friday night at the Grand Canyon University Soccer Classic in Phoenix, hosted by Grand Canyon.

After flying in from Sacramento to Phoenix, the team had almost no turnaround time to rest before the 5 p.m. game. The team flew in, then had to go from the airport directly to the playing field.

Hornets coach Michael Linenberger was excited about the team picking up its first win, its first-ever game against Incarnate Word.

“Obviously the first win feels great,” Linenberger said. “Hopefully we broke the ice, and now we just have to regroup and get ready for Sunday’s game against Grand Canyon.”

The first half was a sluggish start for both teams, as the weather was over 100 degrees at the start of the match. Midfielder Isaac Flores had his fourth shot on goal in the 44th minute, narrowly missing his second goal of the season. The ball hit the goalpost.

At the end of the first half, Incarnate Word led the Hornets 1-0. In the second half, the Hornets began their comeback. In the 62nd minute, John Quintanilla and Christian Guzman set up junior midfielder Ivan Ramirez for his first goal of the season, tying the game up 1-1.

Six minutes later, sophomore forward Cylus Sandoval scored his second goal of the season, an unassisted goal on a strike from the far post.

The Hornets would hold on for the win, but they didn’t feel like it was their best performance.

“We didn’t think we played real well,” Linenberger commented. “It was an average performance, and we know we have to take better care of the soccer ball. We were pretty careless today.”

The Hornets get to take a day off tomorrow before getting back into action. On Sunday the squad will kick off against host Grand Canyon at 7 p.m.