Men’s soccer loses 2-1 in overtime to Grand Canyon

Christopher Bullock

The Sacramento State men’s soccer team started off Sunday’s game against the Grand Canyon University Antelopes with a bang, but couldn’t close it out, losing 2-1 in overtime in the final game of the GCU Soccer Classic in Phoenix.

Sac State junior midfielder Bert Corona scored on an unassisted free kick just 20 seconds into the game, making that his second goal of the season; both coming in the tournament. The team wasn’t able to capitalize on the goal, but the Antelopes (3-1-0) weren’t able to score in the first half either.

The Hornets went into halftime with a 1-0 lead, and almost expanded that lead early in the second half. Midfielder Isaac Flores kicked the ball off the goalpost in the 61st minute, and other opportunities to score were denied.

In the 67th minute, Antelopes’ midfielder Alberto Sanchez-Garcia would score on a penalty kick, tying the game 1-1. The kick was the fourth penalty kick the Hornets have given up in six games this season.

Coach Mike Linenberger acknowledged after the game that this was an issue.

“Going into the next game, we’re going to definitely have to work on our penalty kicks,” Linenberger said.

The teams would end up going into overtime with a 1-1 tie. In the 100th minute, Antelopes’ midfielder Tafadzwa Semwayo would send a free kick toward teammate Alexandros Halis. Halis headed the ball toward Hornets goalkeeper Philip Bru, and the ball went off Bru’s back, causing an own goal which gave the Antelopes the win.

Linenberger said the loss was heartbreaking for the Hornets, but overall it was an end result of the team not taking advantage of their lead.

“We need to work on finishing,” Linenberger said. “We created some good chances tonight to get ahead, and those are opportunities that we have to score.”

Junior goalkeeper Philip Bru had seven saves for the Hornets (1-4-1), who fly back into town on Monday. They have a few days to regroup before Friday’s game against University of the Pacific.

Friday’s game starts at 5 p.m. at Hornet Field.