Men’s soccer falls 4-2 on road after San Jose State comeback

Christopher Bullock

Two early goals were not enough for the Sacramento State men’s soccer team, as they fell to 0-3 in the season with a 4-2 loss to the San Jose State Spartans Friday afternoon.

The game started off with plenty of rough action, as both teams combined for five penalties in the first nine minutes. The Spartans had two early chances to score, but both hit the posts.

The Hornets would strike first in the 10th minute, with junior midfielder Issac Flores making his only goal of the game. Five minutes later, freshman Brad Bumgarner scored his first career goal, putting the Hornets ahead 2-0.

Head coach Michael Linenberger expressed excitement for his freshman forward.

“He [Bumgarner] is from the area, so he was playing in front of family and friends,” Linenberger said. “It was a great shot for him; it was great for his confidence, and I’m confident he’ll score many more goals as his career keeps progressing.”

After that shining moment, however, things got messy for the Hornets. Spartans defender Mikhail Wingate-Pearse got a yellow card in the 17th minute. At the 26th minute, he set up Rory Knibbs for the first of his three goals.

Knibbs was a thorn in the Hornets’ side, scoring all three of his goals, including a penalty kick, in an eight-minute span, quickly evaporating the Hornets’ lead and putting the Spartans ahead 3-2.

According to Linenberger, that was the catalyst that would determine the rest of the game.

“When they scored their first goal, it was like it gave them life. And we just had a bad reaction to it,” Linenberger said.

The second half of the game was as unkind to the Hornets as the first. In the 52nd minute, Spartans freshman forward Zach Penner scored on an assist from Alex Alcaraz. The goal put the Spartans ahead 4-2. Minutes later, Hornets captain Javier Munoz drew a red card from the referees on a penalty call. The Hornets would be forced to go with 10 men the last 32 minutes of the game, which left them one man short.

This didn’t deter the team; if anything, they started to play with more grit. The Hornets got four more close shots at the goal, but would not score again.

The team plays next at 1 p.m. this Sunday at Hornet Field, where they will host Cal State Bakersfield.

The Spartans improved to 1-1 on the season after losing to Loyola Marymount University in their season opener August 28.